Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 11, 2017

Granny plan-y

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Good news for folks who want to build granny flats to provide an affordable-ish housing option in their back yard.  JP Morgan Chase just awarded a grant to two non profit housing lenders to create a pilot lending program.  Bad news is it’s only for San Jose or Los Angeles homes.

But there’s a lot of great information in the article, highlights:

About 25 percent of Bay Area homeowners are interested in building accessory dwelling units on their properties, according to a recent poll.

Statewide support for accessory dwelling units — known as ADUs — has been growing.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, became law Jan. 1, easing parking requirements for adding such units, while reducing some of the impact fees — most notably for utility hookups — that often have added a deal-breaking $10,000 to $60,000 to an accessory dwelling unit project.

The Bay Area Council, a key proponent of the bill, conducted the aforementioned poll. The council has estimated that if one in four of the Bay Area’s approximately 1.5 million homeowners were to build ADUs, that would add around 400,000 new units to the region’s chronically constricted housing supply and help tamp down the never-ending rise in housing costs.

Here’s the most interesting part which is something the City of Alameda could do if we’re serious about housing “working class” or whatever it is we’re calling it now, even without benefit of a grant:

[T]he Housing Trust also intends to create an educational outreach program — involving classes, workshops and technical assistance — to help homeowners navigate the ADU process.

“They have to become a mini-developer,” Zwick said. “They have to understand the planning and design of ADUs, as well as the landlord issues and property management issues — and the community engagement issues” that can arise if neighbors object to additional cars on the street, to give one example.

Mostly, he said, the Housing Trust hopes to spur housing for “the missing middle” of wage earners, people who increasingly cannot afford to live in the region.

It would be good if the City of Alameda could put together some workshops on how to get ADUs built in Alameda.  An easy way to get housing that is affordable by design (no additional high land costs) into the housing pipeline.

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3 Comments »

  1. From what I understand, a lot of Alameda residents are against these for some reason. I don’t understand that. Especially with the growing obsession with tiny houses and objection to big development projects. It seems matching the designs of a cottage to the existing house would be easy. Same roof line, same siding, same color, maybe a ban on shipping containers. …sorry but they’re ugly and not easy to retrofit, might as well build new…and who can afford a crane to drop one in their yard in this town?

    I’d love to see some workshops at the city. The rules in California have changed for the better to make these happen but few seem to know about it.

    Comment by mydogsrbarkin — October 11, 2017 @ 1:18 pm

  2. Lot’s of Alameda residents are against anything that impacts the historical context of their city. I say “their” because unless your parents were born here you’re a newbie. The rules in California may have changed for the better (in your opinion) but your opinion doesn’t hold in old Alameda.

    Comment by Jack — October 11, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

  3. How about we just get rid of a few roads here and there and build tiny houses where the roads were.

    Comment by michonnekatana — October 11, 2017 @ 9:06 pm


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