Kim Dvorak, 26, left, is photographed with her mother Erin Craig, in her studio in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday, June 30, 2016.  The family built an accessory unit for Dvorak, a 640-square-foot studio apartment in a converted garage. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)
Josie Lepe Kim Dvorak, 26, left, is photographed with her mother Erin Craig, in her studio in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday, June 30, 2016. The family built an accessory unit for Dvorak, a 640-square-foot studio apartment in a converted garage. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)

Amid the Bay Area's housing crunch, a movement to ease restrictions on "granny units" is gaining momentum.

Local initiatives to relax land-use rules and liberalize permitting procedures have sprung up around the bay, as communities from San Jose and Palo Alto to Concord have adopted or are considering new ordinances, reports Richard Scheinin of the Bay Area News Group.

In addition, a number of state legislators have proposed bills requiring municipalities to cut red tape and speed up permitting for this class of small, rentable dwellings, which can include backyard cottages and apartments within homes.

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