ADU Study Spotlights Potential for Supply of Affordable Homes

An ADU home

Expanding the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) — a secondary, oftentimes backyard home on a single-family lot — offers benefits to individual homeowners and has the potential to increase the supply of affordable homes, according to a new study by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation and USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate.

This happens to be just one of a few key topics at this year’s online/virtual Your Economy—Your Credit Union Conference this coming Tuesday (July 12), where the following will be discussed (REGISTER HERE):

  • The future of “housing affordability” and local policies mean for credit union members.
  • Regional housing decisions, how to foster affordability, and homeownership/lending solutions.
  • Navigating the nexus of local agencies, public/private initiatives, policy, and member wellbeing.

The UC Berkeley and USC study (ADU Construction Financing: Opportunities to Expand Access for Homeowners) maps the current landscape of financing options available to homeowners for the construction of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and offers recommendations for improving existing mortgage products that could help more homeowners build an ADU.

Informed by interviews with 30-plus experts in the field and a literature review, the authors find that most homeowners who have built an ADU have used cash and a mortgage to finance construction, with home equity loans and cash-out refinancing the most common mortgage types.

The authors find renovation loans backed by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), may be well-positioned to facilitate greater ADU construction. But specific reforms are needed to encourage greater uptake.

“These changes should include consideration of ADU rental income in underwriting, changes to how ADUs are appraised, and shifts in renovation loan eligibility requirements,” the study states.

You can view the entire report here!

New CA League Housing Committee Chair
Erin Mendez, president and CEO of Patelco CU, will be the new chair for the California Credit Union League’s Ad Hoc Housing Committee.

The former chair, Orange County’s CU CEO Shruti Miyashiro, is moving to the East Coast to take on a new leadership role. The League would like to thank Miyashiro for her hard work and dedication to the movement in California, as well as the mission of the League’s Housing Committee.

The committee’s work will continue in earnest as it:

  • Develops a homogenized accessory dwelling unit (ADU) product and form community partnerships to test innovative affordable housing solutions statewide.
  • Continues exploring manufactured housing as it will be the next “fast follow” product for design and community partnership, in tandem with ADU lending.

"Mendez has always been a mission-driven CEO as she has focused on creating member value and financial health," said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. "Patelco’s partnership with fintech company RenoFi is an example of providing ADU lending in California to advance homeownership. With her innovative and progressive leadership style, Erin will ensure our committee’s work to advance affordable housing solutions moves forward."

Pin It