Councilman Wants LA to Explore Financing ADUs for Homeless Housing

May 20, 2021 Updated: May 20, 2021

LOS ANGELES—Councilman Bob Blumenfield on May 20 proposed exploring the creation of a citywide program to finance the construction of accessory dwelling units [ADUs], also known as granny flats, to house formerly homeless Angelenos.

“As the city continues to expand its inventory of homeless interventions, and with [Proposition] HHH projects averaging $531,000 per unit, ADUs can provide long-term, cost-effective, affordable solutions for Angelenos experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity,” Blumenfield’s motion states.

On March 5, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an initiative to give builders and homeowners pre-approved ADU building plans to allow for a faster and less expensive permitting process.

The city also has an ADU Accelerator Program to let homeowners rent subsidized ADUs to older adults who face housing insecurity.

Blumenfield said he believes that program could be “scaled up to help greater numbers of Angelenos experiencing housing insecurity, including those living in interim housing and experiencing homelessness.”

He suggested financial incentives that make homeowners want to house homeless people in their own backyard.

If approved, the motion would instruct the housing and community investment department, the city administrative officer, and the chief legislative officer to report to the city council within 10 days. They would be required to report on the feasibility of creating a program to finance ADU construction to house homeless people through a master lease agreement administered by the city or a partner.

The city would also instruct officials to explore federal and state funding options and report back in 10 days with available financing tools to fund the construction of those ADUs and for managing the city’s program.