California is facing a serious housing crisis, and city officials are reforming laws to make it easier for secondary dwelling units, also known as ‘Granny Flats’, to be constructed and make illegal guest houses eligible for permitting. These secondary dwelling units can provide much more needed housing while providing homeowners with supplemental income.
Homeowners can apply for permits to construct these units so long as they meet state standards and not city laws. According to the real deal, city laws pushed for stricter requirements such as size limits. However, the City Council will now have to adopt a new ordinance for secondary units that comply with state standards.
Governor Jerry Brown approved the bill to encourage more housing units to be developed to alleviate the lack of supply in the housing market, which has driven up rental prices.
The bill is not the only tact city officials are using to alleviate a high demand in housing, Los Angeles County has also released a pilot program to give up to $75,000 in funding to qualifying homeowners for construction of these granny flats if they agree to rent the units to formerly homeless individuals according to CurbedLA. Homeowners with secondary units already built on their property can apply for up to $50,000 in renovation funds for also agreeing to rent the unit to formerly homeless individuals.
Some key aspects of the new law include cities being prohibited from requiring additional parking for units located near public transit and eliminating sprinkler requirements if the primary home has none while eliminating municipal fees for local water and sewer connects for existing structures and reducing fees for new construction. According to USModular Inc., if just 10 percent of California’s 6.8 million owners of single-family homes created granny flats, then 600,00 potential units can be added to the housing market.