New Project Aims to Finance Backyard Homes for Section 8 Tenants in Los Angeles

In 2017, after California enacted a set of amendments making it easier for many homeowners to build accessory dwelling units, applications for those types of projects skyrocketed. And nowhere was the spike more dramatic than Los Angeles. From the end of 2016 to the end of 2017, after the new rules took effect, applications for ADUs (aka granny flats, aka backyard homes) in L.A. jumped from 80 to nearly 2,000, according to a report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley.

Next City wrote at the time. And clearly, in California, there’s a pent-up demand for low-cost housing as well. A new partnership in Los Angeles is looking to maximize the impact of the more permissive rules for ADUs by offering financing, design and construction services for homeowners who agree to rent their new units to Housing Choice Voucher holders for at least five years.

The effort, called the Backyard Homes Project, was coordinated by LA-Más, a nonprofit design group that works in low-income communities. The project provides participants with a range of designs for accessory dwelling units developed by LA-Más and connects them with partner organizations for construction and financing. It also helps them find voucher-holding tenants and requires training for new landlords from the L.A.-based Housing Rights Center.

Learn more at NextCity.