LA City Council moves to grant amnesty on illegal ADUs
Motion, which comes with an affordable housing requirement, was approved unanimously
In a bid to bolster local affordable housing stock, the L.A. City Council has approved a motion designed to encourage more legal permitting of accessory dwelling units, or ADUs.
Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who presented the motion, championed the initiative as a way to cut red tape and “encourage residents to come forward and convert unpermitted units into legal ADUs,” she said in a statement.
“Los Angeles is experiencing a severe housing crisis,” Rodriguez added, “and we need to continue to do everything in our power to provide relief for our communities and utilize existing ADUs.”
The 15-member City Council unanimously approved Rodgriguez’s motion on Friday, City News Service and other outlets reported.
ADUs, which are small living quarters typically built in the backyards of single-family properties, are also called “granny flats.”
The motion aims to boost the city’s affordable housing stock by bringing more existing ADUs into legal compliance. Under current rules, the owners of unpermitted or illegal ADUs must first receive a Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) before they can apply to convert the units into legal housing.
But to receive the CofO, the applicant must return the unit to its original state — for example a garage that’s been converted into housing must be returned to a garage — a process that can be onerous, expensive and time consuming. The motion seeks to temporarily waive that requirement if the units are dedicated as affordable housing, and directs the city attorney to report back to the council on the best way to implement the amnesty program.
Rodriguez first pitched the amnesty plan in December, and has described the rule change as a “win-win” for ADU owners and the city.
— Trevor Bach