How an ADU brought a close family closer together

Bringing a family together on one lot via an ADU build.

Sisters Amy Ludtke and Beth Baca have manifested their dream homes on the same lot, under the same mortgage. Amy, along with her then 4-year old son Jake, became a Proud Ground homeowner in North Portland in 2003. After a long day of landscaping her yard, Amy dreamed that night. In her dream, her yard had stepping stones to a gate that opened up to a little cottage. Amy shared the dream with her sister, Beth. They decided to make the dream a reality; creating a little house that Beth and her husband could live in. Beth called the city about zoning for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), Amy contacted her lender about re-financing to capture the ADU – and they were ready to design and build.

Beth and her husband, Brandon, have lived in the ADU since it was built in 2017. While it is the same size as their old studio apartment – 440 square feet, it features an open concept living room and kitchen, and a bedroom – all for less money than their previous rent. Beth and Amy are co-owners of the homes, and they wouldn’t want it any other way. Amy remarks, “It’s like having your best friend in your backyard. This is a forever living situation. We’re not going anywhere. We did this for a reason. We also took accessibility into account so no modifications need to be made in the future.” This arrangement allows for more streamlined spending and future planning – the family unit shares one car, they order groceries together, split their cable bill and are in close communication about retirement and aging planning.

The option of building an ADU in your backyard opens up a wide array of possibilities – for Amy, Jake, Beth and Brandon, this living arrangement is ideal. Beth puts it perfectly, “We’re living the dream. We got to do exactly what we wanted to do, and we love hanging out together and being a family. It brings me joy every day.”


Utilizing the Community Land Trust model of permanent affordability, Proud Ground expands homeownership opportunities for families, with low to moderate incomes, so that they can live or remain in the community of their choice. Proud Ground serves as a leading strategic partner to improve affordability region-wide, with a focus on areas affected by displacement.

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