Because ADUs are expensive to build, there’s not much hope that they will solve the housing crisis.
- There are an estimated 1.5 million Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in the United States, making up roughly 2% of all homes in the country
- ADUs are growing at a rate of 9%, or 100,000 per year
- An average cost of an ADU is $180,000, or $260 per square foot
- In America’s biggest cities, a home with an ADU is priced 35% higher on average than a home without one
- The top states for ADUs are California (30%), Florida (12%), Texas (10%) and Georgia (5%)
- The cities with the most ADUs are Los Angeles (12%), Portland (4%) and Houston (3%)
- ADU sale listings are growing fastest in Portland (+23%), Dallas (+19%), and Seattle (+18%)
Whether you call them granny flats, in-law suites, or garage apartments – accessory dwelling units (“ADUs”) are on the rise. There are an estimated 1.4 million of them in the United States, with around 110,000 constructed in the last year alone.
In 2020, ADUs were often heralded as one answer to the growing housing affordability crisis. Their proponents argue that ADUs offer an opportunity for homeowners to make extra income, for young people to rent affordably, and for communities to grow slowly and sustainably.
But then the pandemic came and changed everything, and hardly for the better. So where did that leave ADUs in 2021?
Read full article here:
Let’s also mention Carlsbad’s efforts to meet state requirements for low-income housing:
CARLSBAD — Affordable housing is a challenge for many cities as the housing crisis rages statewide.
But the Carlsbad City Council chipped away at its state-mandated affordable housing requirements by approving 70 units for very-low to low-income households during its Aug. 31 meeting.
Additionally, the council approved a $3.1 million loan as requested by Bridge Housing, which partnered with Summerhill Apartment Communities, to develop the Aviara Apartments.
The loan will allow Bridge Housing to cement its application for state and federal tax credits to help fund its affordable portion of the 329-unit project on Aviara Parkway just south of Palomar Airport Road, according to Mandy Mills, Carlsbad’s director of housing and homeless services.
The Aviara East Apartments, where the 70 units will reside east of Aviara Parkway and north of Laurel Tree Road, make up the bulk of the affordable units for the project
In total, 81 units, or 25% of the total project, will be affordable units, Mills added.
The cost for the entire project, which rests on lots east and west of Aviara Parkway, is estimated at $30.9 million, Mills said.
“The project started the process in 2017 (with design and environmental reviews) before the Planning Commission approved it in December 2020,” Mills said. “Bridge will submit tax credit and bond allocation requests next month … and construction is expected to start in summer 2022.”
Rent will run between $600 and $1,700 depending on area median income (AMI) of each resident. Mills said seven units each are allocated for 30% and 50% of AMI and 55 residences for 60%.
Summerhill will manage the market-rate units, while Bridge Housing will operate the affordable units, she explained.
Jeff Williams, of Bridge Housing, said his company has two other developments the company manages in Carlsbad.
Bridge Housing owns the 334-unit Villa Loma project and 92 units at Poinsettia Station Apartments.
Bridge Housing intends to secure tax-exempt bonds and tax credit equity to finance the majority of the project’s cost to improve its competitiveness for bond and tax credit financing, according to the staff report.
Per the estimates, state and federal tax credits would account for $15.3 million along with a permanent loan of $7 million for the bulk of the funding.
The $3.1 million, though, will come from the Housing Trust Fund, which has a current balance of $13.6 million.
“Our mission is to provide housing, services and opportunities for residents of all income levels,” Williams said. “We do that by building on our record.”
The average cost per unit, though, is about $442,000, while city staff cited a Terner Center Report of the cost-per-unit for affordable units in the state is at $480,000, an increase of nearly $70,000 since 2008.
Another benefit of the 81 units is pushing the city closer toward its required affordable housing allotment under the Regional Housing Needs Assessment.
The RHNA numbers set by the county is 3,873 units for Carlsbad and more than 2,000 must meet very low to low-income residences.
This RHNA cycle runs from 2021 through 2029.
This potential bond issue (and resulting property-tax payments) is for the City of San Diego only. From the U-T:
Supporters of a $900 million housing bond say they will continue pursuing the measure for the November ballot, despite the sharp economic downturn reducing incomes for many San Diego property owners who would be paying the tax increase.
The decision was based primarily on a new telephone poll of 850 likely voters that showed 69 percent support the measure, just above the 66.7 percent needed for approval and a drop in support of only 2 percent since last November.
“Until we saw the poll results, it was totally up in the air,” said Stephen Russell, who is spearheading the effort for the San Diego Housing Federation. “When we went to poll, we thought we were going to see cratering in the numbers. It was compelling that we are only two points lower than our polling in November.”
Some critics say that an economic downturn is the wrong time to burden property owners with higher property taxes. Russell said the people most affected by the downturn are low-wage workers who pay rent and are most vulnerable to becoming homeless.
The proposal would raise taxes on San Diego property owners to pay for roughly 7,500 subsidized apartments, 2,800 units for the formerly homeless and 4,700 units for veterans, senior citizens, the disabled and low-income families. In addition to the local money it would raise, the measure would help San Diego secure a greater share of state and federal money devoted to homelessness and affordable housing, by providing local matching funds.
The bond measure would cost property owners $19 per year for every $100,000 of assessed value. The average homeowner with a $600,000 property would pay $115 per year, he said.
But owners of large amounts of commercial, industrial or residential property would pay significantly more.
A dynamic new approach to homelessness with roots in settling the West: Conestoga Huts. The trend started in Eugene and the supporters are hoping it will spread through the Northwest.
“This is our hut,” said Tracy Joscelyn leading a tour of her hut. She said this temporary shelter is a godsend. “We have a beautiful bed. Most of them have a raised up bed.”
It is only 60 square feet of indoor living space. “It’s just really warm and awesome and amazing,” said Joscelyn. The main thing is it gets her off the streets and into a secure spot. “When you have a place to keep your possessions dry and safe instead of hauling them around, then you can start stabilizing your life and figuring out what the next step is.”
The huts look similar to a Conestoga Wagon, the precursor to the Prairie Schooner covered wagons that helped bring settlers west.
“I designed the Conestoga Hut,” said Erik de Buhr of the group Community Supported Shelters in Eugene. He is the driving force behind this effort, which is supported by donations.
He said Conestoga Huts are stronger and more permanent than tents and at $2,500, much less expensive than tiny homes which can cost from $10,000-$20,000.
Link to Article
It figures that more people will be sleeping in their cars, but did the city council think some would be making money on it? Expect even more scrutiny of AirBnB, the website:
Last month, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to stand by their repeal of an almost 36-year ordinance that prohibited residents from living in vehicles on streets within our city limits.
“And it’s now legal to crash-out anywhere [inside a vehicle] in San Diego, so it makes more sense for tourists on a budget to rent a 2-in-1,” Michael added, “and sleep by the beach.”
Last week, an Ocean Beach resident posted a collage of photos on Facebook titled: “VanBnb coming to a curb near you ….” One of the photos was of a black van that was available for $28 a night.
Michael’s buddies didn’t buy into the rent-a-van-and-sleep-inside suggestion for spring break.
“I still think it’s a great idea,” he said. “The people renting the vans or RVs on Airbnb and this so-called ‘VanBnb’ are [likely] vetted, so they shouldn’t be problematic. They should be forewarned that they might be targets of mad-doggin’ by anti-vandwellers that own property by the beaches.”
Those boomer liquidations can’t be far off:
Link to Article
A new poll has found nearly half of California voters believe they can’t afford to live in the state.
The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday reports that 43 percent of California voters said they can’t afford to live there. That number was driven by younger voters: 61 percent of voters age 18 to 34 said they can’t afford to live in California.
“For many Californians, life is less than golden in the Golden State,” the release quotes Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll.
Surging housing prices in California led CALmatters to report that the state was the poorest in the country in 2017. The organization reported then that 20 percent of the state’s population struggled to make ends meet.
This week, the San Diego City Council said the city will stop punishing people for living in their vehicles. It’s a move toward more constructive policies on homelessness, advocates said.
“It’s certainly not a permanent solution to the crisis that we are facing,” City Councilman Mark Kersey told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “But 100 percent of the time, I’d rather have someone sleeping in a car than on the sidewalk.”
If baby boomers have to sell their home because they need the money, this will be a great alternative – and could help to dry up the housing inventory, especially if you can build an ADU for less than $50,000. Homes with bigger yards would be more valuable too.
Link to Article
Today, Samara is announcing a new initiative called Backyard, “an endeavor to design and prototype new ways of building and sharing homes,” according to a press statement, with the first wave of test units going public in 2019.
It means Airbnb is planning to distribute prototype buildings next year.
The name “Backyard” might imply that Airbnb just wants to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), those small cottages that sit behind large suburban houses and are often rented on Airbnb. Gebbia clarifies that is not the case. “The project was born in a studio near Airbnb headquarters,” he says in an interview over email. “We always felt as if we were in Airbnb’s backyard–physically and conceptually–and started referring to the project as such.”
Backyard is poised to be much larger than ADUs, in Gebbia’s telling. Yes, small prefabricated dwellings could be in the roadmap, but so are green building materials, standalone houses, and multi-unit complexes. Think of Backyard as both a producer and a marketplace for selling major aspects of the home, in any shape it might come in.
I love this idea – but $140,000 each? Hat tip Eddie89!
The region’s first housing project made from shipping containers could open as soon as April, providing homes for 21 formerly homeless veterans and possibly paving the way for hundreds of new affordable and median-priced homes in the near future.
The units are planned for a vacant lot at 2941 Imperial Ave. in Logan Heights. Each 320-square-foot unit would have its own patio, kitchen and bathroom. While the units will be built from metal shipping containers, they will be insulated and have interior drywalls.
I got an early start this morning and joined the nationwide annual event of counting our homeless population. About 50 volunteers met at the Encinitas headquarters of the Community Resource Center on Second Street downtown at 4:00am today.
We split up into teams, and figured we’d be working the beach area. Instead, everyone was assigned a census tract between Del Mar and Carlsbad in order to provide full coverage.
Our section was in Carmel Valley, and half of our designated area was filled with gated communities so we mostly poked around Pacific Highlands Ranch.
We did see one guy sleeping in his car near the on-going construction, and that was the closest we got to finding anyone who might be homeless. But I’m glad they include those living in cars because the lack of affordable housing is impacting those who have jobs – but can’t afford to live here.
The goal is to identify how big the problem is, and then work to solve it. If you’d like to participate, check the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless, who has the vision of ending homelessness in the San Diego region:
SD Regional Task Force website
I was 83.28: