california senate bill 1069 has allowed for the by-right construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) across the state. in discussions with my client, LA-Más, we identified a gap in the existing policy research about ADUs and their relationship to affordable housing that i target in this report. i am specifically interested in low income renters and their continued ability to rent ADUs in Los Angeles with an expanded ADU policy. advocacy for affordability in ADUs has typically prioritized the costs to the homeowner, by focusing on the costs of construction and permitting. while these factors can certainly contribute indirectly to the affordability of the rental units, the focus of my report is on policies that directly affect the renter. my broad research question is thus “under what policy conditions can ADUs be made affordable to low income renters?” while the city of los angeles is rewriting it’s ADU policy to be in line with new state standards, the timing is ideal to adopt policies that allow these new units to be affordable to low income renters, not just more affordable by contributing to a more robust market, but also measurably affordable at less than 30% of the renters income according to affordable housing best practices. the opportunity for construction of these units is in its prime, with most parcels that could support a unit yet to construct them.
the full report is available here.
advisor: vinit mukhija