ADU Demand Grows Across the West Coast

A report from Cot­tage ADU, an dwelling unit (ADU) builder on the west coast, reveals that demand for ADUs is grow­ing rapid­ly as states lib­er­al­ize restric­tions on homes to incen­tivize con­struc­tion of more afford­able hous­ing in exist­ing neigh­bor­hoods.

“In 2022, Cal­i­for­nia home­own­ers applied for over 30,000 ADU per­mits – twice as many as in 2018, the statewide ADU reforms went into effect.” Far­ther up the coast, demand for ADUs in Seat­tle is grow­ing faster than in any Cal­i­for­nia metro area, with 2,254 for per­mits in 2022.

How­ev­er, “There remains a notable gap between ADUs that the per­mit­ting process and the num­ber of ADUs that actu­al­ly get .” In Cal­i­for­nia, only a third of per­mits since 2017 result­ed in com­plet­ed ADUs. The report attrib­ut­es this to the process­es for ADU per­mit­ting, under­staffed depart­ments, and sup­ply chain and labor short­ages.

Legal­iz­ing ADUs is becom­ing a pop­u­lar way for cities to move the nee­dle on the nation­wide hous­ing cri­sis as back­yard cot­tages and oth­er addi­tions can be sold to reluc­tant com­mu­ni­ty groups as a rea­son­able increase in den­si­ty that can bring home­own­ers extra income.

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