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July 3, 2018 > Are granny flats the answer to Californias housing crunch?

Are granny flats the answer to Californias housing crunch?

Submitted By Pat Collins

An online platform hopes to make it easier for homeowners to understand their local zoning and permitting requirements to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their properties. These housing units, more commonly referred to as ?Granny Flats? and ?In-Law Units,? are growing in popularity among homeowners who are interested in making improvements to their home that increase value and generate rental income. is an online service developed by a small team of housing tech advocates led by Joanna Socha and Patrick Collins. The team has been testing the service in select cities across California and say they have already processed thousands of ?Property Checks? for homeowners throughout the state that have used the site during testing to check the zoning requirements for their property and estimate it?s 'ADU potential.'

According to the team?s research, there are currently more than 11,700,000 housing units in California, with slightly more than 60 percent of these units being zoned for single family homes. The team estimates that because of new statewide laws which support these types of housing units (SB 1069 and AB 2299), there are now more than three million single family properties in the state that may be eligible to add a second unit.

However, less than two percent of the single-family residences in the state have an existing, legally permitted ADU on the premises. If just one percent of eligible homeowners in California built a second unit each year, it would contribute an additional 157,000 units to the state?s housing stock over the next five years and create tens of thousands of new construction jobs.

?We think that homeowners have an opportunity to become micro real estate developers. If properly informed of their property rights, individual homeowners could become a significant contributor to housing production in the state over the coming years.? said Collins, a native of Berkeley with a background in modular design and construction. ?Our aim for this project is to provide an easy-to-use resource for all California homeowners who are interested in building an ADU but are unsure about whether it would be a good fit for their needs and their property.?

The platform provides free tools and resources for homeowners to plan and design their ADU project preliminarily with lower upfront costs than the traditional architectural design process. Homeowners can check their address to get insights about the local ADU zoning requirements that may apply to their property and estimate the potential returns from adding a second unit. Homeowners can use these insights to make more informed decisions before spending the substantial amount time, money and commitment that?s required to get started with the process for permitting, financing and constructing an ADU on their property.

Anyone who is interested in learning about the ADU potential of their property in California or local professionals who are interested in getting involved to help homeowners build ADUs, can learn more by visiting the Hausable website at and following the prompts to find their city.

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