As more affordable housing is needed, especially in markets like Los Angeles, cities are creating innovative processes and programs that help address the issue. In LA, data and technology are assisting home owners to put ADUs in the yard that offer housing opportunities to the homeless.

New state rules making it easier for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units on their properties were designed to address California’s severe housing shortage.

Now Los Angeles officials plan to test whether ADUs, aka granny flats and in-law units, could be a solution for homelessness as well.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that the city has won a $1 million grant through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge to fund a program pairing homeless residents with homeowners who have space on their properties for an ADU.

Under the program, which is expected to launch in spring, participating homeowners would receive up to $30,000 worth of assistance constructing an ADU on their property. Rather than a direct loan or stipend, the money would come in the form of tax breaks or reduced permitting fees.

In return, owners must agree to rent the new structure to a homeless resident who will be supplied for two years with rental assistance and case management through the county’s homeless services authority.

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