California is taking a very holistic approach to its growing number of homeless - creating new policies, opening vacant lots, subsidies - for total of 51 strategies. The latest, approved this week, allows residents to borrow up to $75,000 to build a granny flat, or backyard home, if it will be rented to a homeless family.
California’s budding YIMBY movement is up for a real test. Under a new pilot program approved this week, Los Angeles County homeowners are being asked to literally open up their backyards to the homeless.
The county’s board of supervisors gave the green light to the The Granny Flats Motion project on Tuesday, which would give homeowners up to $75,000 to build a backyard home—if they agree to rent it to a homeless family or individual. (For those who already have a unit to offer, the county will to provide up to $50,000 in subsidies to convert it according to the county’s requirements.) On top of that, the county will also streamline the permitting process, an arguably attractive incentive considering that most of these “accessory dwelling units” in U.S. cities are illegal.
The county will take the next two months to flesh out the details with the hope of implementing the program within the next year and a half, says Monique King-Viehland, the deputy executive director of the community development commission. As for figuring out the rent and utilities costs, that’s largely left up to the homeowners and their future tenants. “Right now the thought is there will be some kind of note on the property that basically says you have to maintain a certain level of affordability for a certain time period,” she tells CityLab.Read More