Ting Introduces Homemade Solution to California’s Housing Crisis

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Ting Introduces Homemade Solution to California’s Housing CrisisAccessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), commonly known as “in-law units” or “granny flats,” are poised to play an important role in alleviating California’s housing crisis. After being sworn in to a fourth term this week, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced AB 68 and AB 69, making it even easier and faster for homeowners to build livable space in their backyards.

“We are in a housing crisis, and ADUs are one of the quickest ways to expand our affordable housing supply,” said Ting. “While the state has already removed some of the red tape, we need to do more to spur widespread adoption.”

According to the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, applications for ADU permits have jumped significantly since the Legislature eased some regulations, but  homeowners still face challenges when it comes to building codes, limiting the full potential of ADUs.

Ting’s ADU bills aim to:

  •     Speed up the approval process to 60 days

  •     Prohibit restrictive local requirements pertaining to lot size and parking

  •     Allow more types of units, such as units in multi-family dwellings, to be approved with less bureaucratic review

  •     Create a Small Home Building Standards Code to make construction more cost-effective and safe

“There are no silver bullet solutions to this housing crisis, but Accessory Dwelling Units perhaps come closest.  They are discreet, efficient, inexpensive, and most importantly, they can be built in a much shorter time frame than multi-family housing; as little as a few months in some cities. ADUs offer an immediate solution to our housing shortage, and this legislation will make it simpler for homeowners to add these units in their own backyards,” said Matt Regan, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the Bay Area Council.

"Accessory Dwelling Units are a key part of our multi-faceted effort to house the Bay Area and reduce our carbon footprint. ADUs could be a quick, economical and environmentally sound approach to addressing our housing availability and affordability crises, but only if we expand and facilitate their use by removing draconian local zoning limitations and mandates and excessive building requirements and shortening the approval process. Assemblymember Ting's legislation will accomplish this, and we are grateful for his leadership on this important housing strategy," said Michael Lane, Policy Director of Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH)

 “As someone who has worked on eleven ADU projects over the past year, I know first-hand how tough it still is to get units like these approved and built,” said Dan McDunn of McDunn Construction. “I'm really glad Assemblymember Ting is pushing additional legislation that makes ADUs even easier to build.”

Committee hearings are expected to begin in this spring.

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