“Granny Flat” Permits Spike in California

CodeWatcher granny flats

State promotes granny flats as an answer to the affordable housing crisis.

A paucity of affordable housing that threatens to inflame a burgeoning homelessness crisis and trigger an exodus of well-paying jobs is forcing local governments to consider creative solutions to this intractable problem.

One example is a trio of California laws that took effect in January 2017 designed to streamline the building of accessory dwelling units (aka granny flats). Those laws preceded a spike in ADU building permits in the state, according to an ATTOM Data Solutions analysis of Buildfax data.

Similar efforts to promote ADUs as an affordable housing solution are underway in Seattle, where one company believes it has come up with a way to quickly identify — by the tens of thousands — single family homes that are prime candidates for ADU development. But in Portland — the city with the most ADU building permits in 2017 — some say the promise of ADUs as an affordable housing solution has fallen flat.

Read the full report in the March 2018 Housing News Report published by ATTOM Data Solutions.