All-in-One ADU Project

May 7, 2019
@jipy32 | The Backyard Homes Project in Los Angeles seeks to add accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the backyards of homeowners who agree to rent to Section 8 voucher-holders for at least five years.
Photo: Jean-Philippe Delberghe/Unsplash

The Backyard Homes Project in Los Angeles seeks to add accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the backyards of homeowners who agree to rent to Section 8 voucher-holders for at least five years.

The proposal from urban design nonprofit LA-Más and other groups involved in the project hopes to start with 10 pilot units, with financing currently underway. Project lead and designer Elizabeth Timme tells CityLab, “There’s just a lot of space in Los Angeles,” and the city's recent regulatory changes to allow ADUs opens up more land to be used for affordable housing, and gives homeowners access to new revenue streams, to build up their home's equity, and allows them to strengthen ties with local officials and nonprofits.

Looking at the pressing shortages of low-income housing in each and every state in the country, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that NIMBY homeowners are winning the fight against new housing, and especially against affordable housing. But there’s one potential foe that reactionary homeowners are ill-equipped to dominate: their own neighbors. Other homeowners, that is, who have elected to house Section 8 voucher-holders in their backyards.

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