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Could accessory dwelling units ease the tight rental market?

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With the cost of living on the Central Coast skyrocketing, some homeowners are making the most of their property to generate new income streams.

In this Price of Paradise segment, we take a closer look at attached housing units, also known as ADUs.

Let’s take a look at some trends in recent years.

The City of Santa Barbara has seen a steady increase in ADUs under construction since 2019. This year the number is slightly lower. According to city planners, this could be due to a combination of factors, including supply costs, a limited workforce and other post-pandemic issues.

Santa Maria has also seen a steady increase in ADU permit applications since 2018. Over 1000 permits have been issued to ADU in the last five years. Nearly 400 permits were issued last year alone, and this year he has already issued 300. City leaders say – Santa Maria is on pace to match or exceed last year’s total.

In San Luis Obispo, that number has remained fairly steady. The City has averaged 70 permits per year over the past three years.

Paso Robles is also on the rise. Last year, the city obtained his 26 permits for attached housing units. About 16 have been granted so far this year, and more work is underway. The city expects to exceed last year’s total.

City leaders say the permitting process is easier for homeowners, largely because state laws have become more lenient.

The state struggles to keep up with housing demand and sometimes reverses city policies regarding ADUs.

“State law requires the city to have an expedited permitting process for attached housing units,” said Michael Codron, director of community development for the City of San Luis Obispo. increase.”

Rosie Dyste, community development project planner for the City of Santa Barbara, said:

“The intent of the attached housing units is to give existing properties the ability to provide homes, hopefully allowing people to rent at an affordable price,” said Darren Nash, city planner for the City of Paso Robles. That’s it,” he said.

While some local homeowners celebrate the benefits, others are hesitant to jump on the trend.

“More and more people are taking advantage of this opportunity, whether it’s for their families or as a way to acquire real estate.”

Lindsey Harn purchased a home in San Luis Obispo in 2017. At the time she had a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house.

We then added two legit bedrooms with drywall bathrooms and kitchenettes, transforming the two-car garage into a separate living space.

“We’ve been able to create affordable spaces for the people who live and work here,” says Harn.

“Had we purchased this property as a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, we would have paid far more than we would have purchased a two-bedroom, one-bathroom. The cost was very reasonable.”

ADU’s growing popularity has been seen throughout the Central Coast area and is now attracting new home developers.

Bryn Britton recently scooped up a brand new home in the San Luis Ranch community – already fitted with ADU.

“We’re just providing more opportunities in a community that can cost a living,” Britton said.

She says her floor plan homes are scattered throughout the development, which has become more common in recent years.

“We have the opportunity to rent it out and offset some of the mortgage payments,” Britton said. We have enacted some policies to help us offset the cost of housing, as housing is very expensive.”

ADU will help ease the tightness in the rental market, but while homeowners will have some breathing room, not all neighbors are on board.

“While contributing to the housing shortage, Granny Units and ADUs are increasing property values, making it difficult for people like me to buy a home in the area,” said San Luis Obispo’s. Resident and Publicis’ Justin White said. Senior software engineer.

“These cars have to go somewhere. ADU doesn’t have to provide parking,” said Allan Roy Cooper, Executive Director of Save Our Downtown. “

For more information on ADU policies and requirements, visit your city’s website.

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