San Diego County is now offering free, pre-approved floor plans for granny flats, officials said Wednesday.
The county has posted two permit-ready, no-cost floor plans that are sized at 600 and 1,200 square feet. Other floor plans will be added in coming weeks.
County officials are encouraging accessory homes, commonly known as granny flats, as one way to close an affordable housing gap and help low-income seniors, veterans and others who may be at risk for homelessness.
“At a time when so many people are looking for quality, affordable housing, we’re removing some of the red tape that can get in the way,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Dianne Jacob.
“We have seen a huge amount of interest in people wanting to build Accessory Dwelling Units throughout San Diego County to help house family members and/or to use as rental units. The Waiver of the fees by San Diego County will make our prefabricated Accessory Dwelling Units a very affordable and much faster option to build than convention built ADU’s” says Abe Ferreira, USModular Inc.
Earlier this year, the county also waived $15,000 in permit and development fees for granny flats in unincorporated areas.
Because the floor plans are free, “you can’t beat the price,” Jacob said. “We’ve cut $30,000 off the price of each house.”
According to the county, there is an availability of space on many larger residential properties, and roughly 172,000 homes on existing lots in the unincorporated area.
“If just a fraction of these lots can accommodate a smaller, second home, that would go a long way toward addressing the need for affordable housing,” Jacob said.
Kim Gallo, director of county Aging & independence Services, said granny flats can “help create an intergenerational home, a place for a caregiver to live on-site or a means of rental income to an older adult who owns their home.”
Ricardo Flores, executive director of the nonprofit San Diego Local Initiatives Support Corp., praised the county for its efforts.
“We need multiple approaches to address this crisis and providing free floor plans and waiving fees can be important tools in this effort,” he added.