New San Francisco ADU Reforms Signal Success of Council Advocacy

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A major initiative the Bay Area Council launched in 2016 to dramatically expand the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), aka granny or in-law units, is transforming how cities across the state view this important source of affordable housing. More and more cities are embracing ADUs as a relatively inexpensive, fast and low-impact approach to addressing the state’s housing crisis, and they are moving to ease onerous and unnecessary fees and regulations that have discouraged homeowners from considering an ADU.

The latest example comes from San Francisco, where the Board of Supervisors later this month is expected to approve a 15-month pilot program proposed by Mayor London Breed to eliminate expensive building inspection fees on ADUs. A story in the San Francisco Chronicle detailed the proposed changes. The Council estimates that if just 10 percent of Bay Area homeowners added an ADU, the region would gain 150,000 new affordable housing units. To help make those estimates a reality, the Council is supporting a suite of ADU reform legislation that is continuing to advance in Sacramento. To engage in the Council’s ADU policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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