Council Pursues New Approach to Ease Housing Crisis

Bay Area Council Senior Vice President Matt Regan on March 9 championed the benefits of second or accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing at their meeting on Innovative Solutions to Build Affordable Housing. Second units are affordable by design, costing anywhere from $10,000 for a junior second unit in an existing home to $300,000 for a high-end backyard cottage, significantly less than the typical $500,000 for a unit of affordable housing.

Expanding the use of second units is among the chief strategies the Council’s Workforce Housing Committee — under the leadership of Denise Pinkston of TMG Partners and Kofi Bonner of Lennar Urban — is pursuing to ease the region’s housing crisis. The Workforce Housing Committee currently is developing model legislation that we plan to introduce in up to 20 major cities around the region in the coming months. We are advocating for legislation that Oakland is considering to expedite ADU approvals.

ADUs could put thousands of units into the housing stock in a matter of a couple years.  Sacramento legislators are very interested in this innovative approach to address our housing shortage. The Council is working to develop legislation that can remove some of the obstacles to second units, such as reducing parking requirements or making permitting ministerial. ADUs are also a great insurance policy for residents, adding extra income to help them stay in their homes. For more information or to get involved, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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