Scroll Down

Main Content

ADUs in California…the new Affordable Housing standard.

Until recently, even apartments in California were considered “illegal” in most residential neighborhoods-75-94% of areas depending on the CA city in question-due to antiquated zoning regulations.

Not until 2016 when a couple of state housing bills were passed did the state-wide standards start to put pressure on local authorities to increase the housing supply. Since then over 60,000 legal ADUs-additional rental units that have all the key features of a house: kitchen, bath, bedroom, and living area-have been approved and built by homeowners in California. An answer to large apartment buildings, ADUs provide additional income for homeowners struggling with larger mortgage payments and renters with more available housing in residential settings.

Today, ADU permitting is increasing, on average, by 50+% annually. And according to a percent survey the vast majority of these (90+%) are being used to house families, as opposed to short-term rentals.

Even more encouraging, data indicate that most qualify for affordable housing to those earning less than 80%of the area’s median income. Essentially, by legalizing ADUs the state of California has “triggered a boom in affordable housing at no cost to the taxpayer.”Even in affluent areas, ADUs are taking off with Palo Alto seeing a 30-fold increase in AUD permits issued from 2016 to 2021. South of San Francisco in Tony Hillsboroughthat number is 13.5, Los Alto went from 0 to 61 permits, and even Beverly Hills in LA had19 issued in 2021 compared to none in 2016.

Locally, in Napa County, the City of Napa approved 60 applications compared with 15 years earlier. St. Helena approved 20 in 2021, up from 16 the year prior. Yountville and Calistoga’s approval numbers are holding steady. Many more are needed to improve the area’s housing availability with vacancy rates remaining low at roughly 2%. See more about this evolving trend HERE

If you are looking for guidance about ADUs in Napa Valley or want to view a portfolio of top-quality St. Helena, Calistoga, and Yountville luxury real estate, reach out to trusted local agent Arthur Goodrich. His skill and experience in handling luxury sales will land you the perfect home with ease and speed.

Get In Touch

08Work With
Keep up to date with the latest market trends and opportunities in Napa & Sonoma Counties.