Coming to a backyard near you.

We’ve seen a steady rise of interest in accessory dwelling units (ADUs) over the past several years — and is not showing any signs of slowing. This phenomenon can be explained by a few significant cultural, demographic, and regulatory factors. First, an increasing number of households are becoming multi-generational. According to Pew Research, we’ve seen a 4x increase in multi-generational households in the past 50 years. Second, the behavioral shifts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have created more flexibility for professionals to work from home, and these new work environments have required new spaces with some degree of separation from the main living areas. Third, the continued popularity of Airbnb as a source of supplemental income has become a home buying strategy for many, with purchase strategies centered around the ability to rent out some or all of the home to guests. Lastly, in California, at least 5 pieces of legislation have gone into effect since 2019 easing the permitting process around ADU construction.

Joe Gebbia, one of the Airbnb co-founders, announced this week the launch of his new company Samara, which designs and builds net-zero tiny homes. Samara joins a number of companies that have emerged in recent years, including Abodu which has partnered with Dwell, and Cottage. Expect to see even more of these companies pop up in the coming years as the demand for ADUs continues - perhaps also as a means of creating more opportunities for affordable housing..

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