top of page

The Impact of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in California

California’s housing shortfall has reached a critical point, with the state’s housing produc-


tion lagging significantly behind its population growth. This persistent deficiency has escalated housing costs, especially for renters, and has had far-reaching impacts on the economy, environment, and overall quality of life for Californians.

Key Points on ADUs

  • Legislative Progress: Recent legislative amendments aim to tackle this housing shortfall by facilitating the development of ADUs and JADUs. Laws such as AB 68, AB 881, and SB 13 have modified requirements to remove barriers that previously restricted the construction of ADUs, like owner-occupancy requirements and specific lot sizes.

  • Varieties of ADUs: ADUs come in several forms:

    • Detached ADUs: Standalone structures on the same property as the main house.

    • Attached ADUs: Units attached to the primary residence.

    • Conversion ADUs: Spaces within the primary residence, such as garages or basements, converted into independent living units.

    • JADUs: Junior ADUs are smaller units contained entirely within an existing single-family residence.

  • Affordability: ADUs are cost-effective to build compared to traditional single-family homes. They utilize existing land and infrastructure, which significantly lowers construction costs. Additionally, recent laws have reduced or eliminated development fees for smaller ADUs, making them even more affordable.

  • Income Opportunity: For homeowners, ADUs offer a chance to earn additional income through rentals, which can offset mortgage payments or property taxes.

  • Community Benefits: ADUs contribute to diversifying housing options in established neighborhoods without altering the community fabric. They can help accommodate population growth, allow seniors to age in place, and provide housing close to jobs and schools.

  • Environmental Impact: Building ADUs is a green housing solution. Their smaller size and the use of existing space mean a smaller carbon footprint compared to building new, larger homes.

California’s Housing Legislation in Detail

  • Efficiency in Approval: Legislation now requires that ADU applications be deemed approved if not acted upon within 60 days, streamlining the process.

  • Size and Space: Local ordinances can no longer set minimum lot sizes that prohibit ADUs. The state has set forth a minimum allowable size for ADUs, ensuring they are a viable option for homeowners.

  • Owner-Occupancy: Temporary suspension of owner-occupancy requirements until 2025 has opened the door for more homeowners to build ADUs.

  • Reduced Fees: Impact fees are waived for ADUs under 750 square feet, and proportionately reduced for larger ADUs, easing the financial burden on homeowners.

The Role of ADUs in Alleviating the Housing Crisis

ADUs are a critical part of the solution to California’s housing crisis. They provide an affordable, efficient, and environmentally friendly housing option that benefits both property owners and renters.

Call to Action

Are you a California homeowner interested in building an ADU on your property? Now is the time to explore this opportunity to contribute to solving the housing crisis while potentially benefiting financially. Contact Us


bottom of page