LA ADU Accelerator Program Guide
Download this guide to learn about what is required, the different incentive options, and our most frequently asked questions.

It is expensive to live in Los Angeles and like most cities in America, residents spend a lot of money on housing.  In Los Angeles, 30% of residents spend more than half of their income on rent. At the same time, as cities like Los Angeles attract more residents, the cost of living continues to go up and the supply of housing continues to be constrained.

To help combat these challenges, the City has launched the LA ADU Accelerator Program to provide financial incentives to homeowners who build an ADU on their property and rent them to residents in need. This pilot program is also open to homeowners who have an existing ADU on their property and choose to put that ADU into this program. This pilot program is operated by the City of Los Angeles and has been made possible by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies and a financial match from the City of Los Angeles.

 


 

Interested in applying? 

Here are some key things to note:

The application deadline was November 1, 2019. The next phase will be announced shortly.
Grant Amount: $10,000 
Eligibility: Homeowners who have a legally permitted ADU with a certificate of occupancy already on their property. 
Notice of approval: January 2020
How to pull building permits: Search Online Building Records at LADBS
Questions? E-mail us at adu@lacity.org 

View our Homeowner Application Guide for tips on filling out your application and saving time.

 


 

Why we believe this program will work: 

  • There are over 500,000 single-family housing units in the City of LA that can accommodate ADUs.

  • Recent California state legislation has made ADUs legal and easier to build.

  • ADUs are relatively cheap to build, have no land costs, and help property owners earn additional income.

  • LA residents passed measures HHH and H to increase funding for homeless services and housing, demonstrating that residents support innovative solutions to solve this problem.

 


 

How this program will benefit participants: 

  • Homeowners will be part of the solution to increase the affordable housing stock in the City, help a neighbor in need, and receive benefits such as a steady rental income and increased equity on their homes. 

  • Tenants will have a place to call home, pay rent that is slightly below market value and be able to stabilize their lives. 

If you are interested in applying to the program, please consider the requirements closely.  

 


 

Program Incentives

This pilot program will operate for three years and will have three application cycles - one per year. Each year, homeowners can apply for a grant or loan which can be applied to the eligible costs of construction and other important aspects of building and maintaining an ADU. Applicants will go through a rigorous screening process. Once selected, a team comprised of various City departments will support homeowners as they build and rent their ADUs to housing insecure tenants.

The City of Los Angeles is interested in partnering with homeowners who are committed to increasing the affordable housing stock in our City and renting to a neighbor in need. This program will target housing insecure Angelenos who have jobs, stable connections, and non-acute needs but are at risk of becoming displaced or have recently been displaced due to the rising costs of living in Los Angeles.

 


 

Requirements:

To be eligible to apply for our program, homeowners must:

  • Own property that is in the City of Los Angeles and therefore eligible for this City of Los Angeles program. (You can check to make sure your property is within the City limits by visiting ZIMAS).

  • Have an existing legally permitted ADU on their property (eligible to apply now) or are in the ADU permitting process (eligible to apply in early 2020).

  • Be willing to house someone in need for an agreed upon period of time (see below for requirements).

 


 

Incentive:

Grant: 

  • Amount: $10,000

  • Term: Must house a low-income or housing insecure tenant for a minimum of 3 years

  • Eligible homeowner: Homeowners who have a legally permitted ADU with a certificate of occupancy already on their property. 

  • Program requirements: Participate in regular program calls and check-ins (frequency to be determined); complete annual program reports to verify program compliance. 

 


 

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Program FAQs
Application/General Program

When is the deadline to apply for the program?

The application deadline is Friday, November 1st, 2019 at 11:59pm.

When will I be notified of my application decision?

You will be notified of your application decision by January 2020.

Will participating in the program expedite my ADU planning and permitting process?

We cannot guarantee that your ADU planning and permitting process will be expedited. However, we will do our best to help you build your ADU in a timely manner through working with other City departments to monitor and troubleshoot your project when necessary. As with all construction projects, your architect and construction partners are essential to the speed and progress of your project.

Who should I contact for more information?

For more information about this program and its requirements, you may email us at adu@lacity.org.

Eligibility

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for an incentive?

You are eligible to apply for a financial incentive through the LA ADU Accelerator Program if: 1) Your property is in the City of Los Angeles. 2) You have an existing legally permitted ADU with a Certificate of Occupancy or you are in the process of receiving an ADU permit.

If I own more than one property and plan on building multiple ADUs, can I apply to the program more than once?

No. Homeowners may only apply to the LA ADU Accelerator Program for one property and for one incentive.

I am a developer building single-family homes for-sale, and hope to build ADUs on my properties. Does this program apply to me?

No. Developers are not eligible to apply for this program. We are looking to partner with homeowners who are committed to increasing the affordable housing stock, housing someone in need, and providing landlord support.

How do I know if I’m a good fit as a landlord?

This program is not right for everyone. If you are dedicated to increasing the supply of housing while helping someone who needs a place to live, this program could be a good fit for you. If your primary interest is earning money, this program is likely not for you. We are looking for homeowners who want to contribute to the community while earning an incentive.

Do I have to live in the primary home in order to apply?

No. However, your primary residence must be in the City of Los Angeles and you must commit to acting as the landlord or overseeing the quality of support the tenant receives and the partnership with the City.

Tenant

Do I get to pick my tenant?

Sort of. All homeowners who participate in the LA ADU Accelerator Program must house someone who is low-income or housing insecure. We will provide you with a pool of eligible tenants you can select from to reside in your ADU.

Who are the prospective tenants?

Prospective tenants must be employed, stable, and with non-acute needs. They must also be prepared to move into housing. During their application process, tenants will be connected to a service provider who will ensure that they can successfully transition into an ADU.

Will I be required to provide any assistance to the tenant?

No. Service providers and case managers will be responsible for ensuring that each tenant receives the necessary assistance to succeed in this program. Homeowners will not be required to provide support services to their tenants. However, homeowners are expected to act as landlords and provide active landlord support to the tenants.

What happens if I do not get along with my tenant?

The tenant rental agreement is for one year and will be month to month after that. There are certain circumstances under which you can remove your tenant, such as violation of the rental agreement, using the rental unit for an illegal purpose, or refusing to give the landlord reasonable access to the rental unit. More information will be available upon acceptance into the program.

How many people will I be expected to house?

The number of people you can house depends on the number of bedrooms in your ADU. The Housing Authority uses the following Occupancy Standards for family and unit size: 1 bedroom for 1-2 family members; 2 bedrooms for 3-4 family members; 3 bedrooms for 5-6 family members.

Finances/Rent

Your Loan or Grant

Grant: You will receive a portion of the grant after each year of program compliance.


Opting Out

Can I opt-out of the program at any point? What happens if I opt-out?

We are looking for people who are committed to the duration of the program. However, if due to unforeseen circumstances you need to withdraw from the program, you will forfeit the remainder of your grant incentive. If you have a loan, you will be responsible for repaying the remainder of the balance that was not forgiven.

What if I want to sell my home while I am participating in the program?

If you received a loan and you sell your home, you will be obligated to repay the remainder of the loan immediately. If you received a grant and you sell your home, you will forfeit the remaining balance of your grant if applicable.

If my tenant chooses to move out before the end of the program, will I have to replace him/her with a new tenant?

Yes. You will have to house a new tenant that meets the same eligibility criteria.