California to Pay up to $25,000 for ADUs, Critics Say It Will Raise Home Prices

By Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley is a daily news reporter for The Epoch Times based in Southern California.
September 29, 2021 Updated: October 4, 2021

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) recently announced that it will be offering up to $25,000 to low- to moderate-income homeowners to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their property. Critics are concerned it will lead to higher housing costs, less homeownership, and more rental units.

Former mayor of Costa Mesa Jim Righeimer said building more ADUs in a community may lower the cost of rent but will raise the cost of home prices, making homeownership unaffordable.

“This is the beginning of the end for Suburbia,” Righeimer told The Epoch Times. “You’ll end up with less homeowners and more renters.”

Righeimer said building ADUs in the backyards of average-sized homes will lead to “rental housing.”

“I already know people that are going to buy these,” he said. “They want to buy them as rentals. Right now, they’re saying the person that builds it is signing a statement saying that they’ll live in it. But once it’s built, how do you enforce that?”

The new ADU Grant Program was announced a day after the passage of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $22 billion housing package.

California has an estimated 240,000 ADUs, according to CalHFA.

“ADUs are an affordable, effective and forward-looking option for many homeowners,” CalHFA Executive Director Tiena Johnson Hall said in a statement. “California must make the most of every opportunity to build more housing for its residents, and the ADU Grant Program helps homeowners who want to invest in and share their property to help address a huge issue.”

“Many homeowners have the land available in their backyard, and we want to make it as easy as possible for them with this grant program,” Hall said.

Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley is a daily news reporter for The Epoch Times based in Southern California.