Karen Chapple is photographed on her deck overlooking her accessory dwelling unit at her home in Berkeley, Calif., on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Chapple is a UC Berkeley professor and affordable housing expert, and had the tiny 400-square-foot "granny" unit built five years ago. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)
JANE TYSKA Karen Chapple is photographed on her deck overlooking her accessory dwelling unit at her home in Berkeley, Calif., on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Chapple is a UC Berkeley professor and affordable housing expert, and had the tiny 400-square-foot "granny" unit built five years ago. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that makes accessory dwelling units easier and less expensive to build throughout the state, reports Queenie Wong of the Bay Area News Group.

Supporters hope the move will help ease the region's housing crunch and open the door to more affordable housing.

Often called "granny units," accessory dwelling units, including backyard cottages and some studio apartments, are typically more affordable than market-rate rentals.

Under the new law, water and sewer agencies would be prevented from charging hookup fees for ADUs built within an existing house or an existing detached unit on the same lot. Local agencies also cannot impose parking rules for certain ADUs, including those located within a half-mile from public transit, or units that are part of an existing primary residence.

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