City Beat Morgan Hill :
Shifting Economic Forces Create Housing Opportunity :
Accessory Dwelling Unit May Be a Good Option
By Amy Whelan , City of Morgan Hill
Interest rates and supply dominate any housing market , and both forces are shifting fiercely for the foreseeable future . As mortgage interest rates creep upward , not everyone in the housing market can find a reasonable option , and some homeowners need to squeeze more value from their homes to make ends meet . The pressure that this scenario creates is intense , yet ADUs may offer some relief .
What is an ADU ?
ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit . You may have heard them called a secondary dwelling unit , a generation unit , a granny unit , or an in-law unit . No matter the name , they are quickly becoming viable — and valuable — options for residents looking to expand their home size to accommodate multiple generations or earn additional income as a rental space .
Building an accessory dwelling unit may sound farfetched , but the long-term economic benefits are too numerous to dismiss ADUs as a possibility .
For a structure to be considered an ADU , it must provide independent living facilities for one or more people and must include an area for living , sleeping , cooking and eating . The ADU must be located on the same parcel as the primary dwelling unit . A resident may build two ADUs per parcel , which may be one detached or attached and one junior ADU .
Types of ADUs
• Junior ADU is entirely contained within the main residential unit , with a separate entrance , no more than 500 sq . ft ., and is required to include an efficient kitchen but can share a bathroom with the main home .
• Attached ADU is attached to the primary residence .
• Detached ADU is separated from the primary residence .
• Converted Existing Space can be something like an attached garage or accessory structure .
Considerations to keep in mind when planning for an ADU include what are the setbacks from property lines required for a chosen type of ADU , maximum size available for the final location , parking requirements for attached and detached ADUs , and impact fees – fees that offset the financial impact of new development on public infrastructure – that may be applicable .
Path to Completion The City ' s Development Services team has outlined a path
to understand the process and the latest Muni Code requirements on its ADU Resources webpage
to help turn your idea into a reality . Plus , there are generous grants available , such as $ 40,000 from the CA Housing Finance Agency
. These ADU grants provide funding towards pre-development and non-reoccurring closing costs associated with the construction of the ADU , such as site prep , architectural designs , permits , soil tests , impact fees , property survey , and energy reports . These grants may be available to most Santa Clara County residents whose income does not exceed $ 300,000 annually .
Keep up on the latest happenings at : www . morganhill . ca . gov
and consider subscribing to our direct updates through the City ’ s ‘ Notify Me ’ feature on its website .
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