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National News: Accessory Dwelling Units are on the Rise!

With concerns about affordable housing and tight inventory, many are considering adding an "Accessory Dwelling Unit" on their property. Also known as a "granny unit", an "in-law unit" or a "secondary unit", they come in many shapes and sizes and are permanent structures. They have their own entry, kitchen and bathroom and sleeping area.
The good news is that local governments are increasingly passing measures that makes it easier for homeowners to build and rent out ADUs. Governor Brown signed two separate bills on October 8, 2017: SB 229 (Wieckowski) and AB 494 (Bloom).These bills, effective January 1, 2018, clarify and improve various provisions of the law to promote the development of ADUs, including allowing ADUs to be built concurrently with a single-family home, opening areas where ADUs can be built to include all zoning districts that allow single-family uses, modifying fees from utilities, such as special districts and water corporations, and reducing parking requirements.
What are the benefits of ADUs?
  • ADUs are an affordable type of home to construct in California because they do not require paying for land, major new infrastructure, structured parking, or elevators.

  • ADUs can provide a source of income for homeowners.

  • ADUs are built with cost-effective wood frame construction, which is significantly less costly than homes in new multifamily infill buildings.

  • ADUs allow extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy.

  • ADUs can provide as much living space as many newly-built apartments and condominiums, and they’re suited well for couples, small families, friends, young people, and seniors.

  • ADUs give homeowners the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they require more care.

Source: California Department of Housing and Community Develpment
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