The Backyard Homes Project:
An Affordable Housing Initiative
How can Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) support the creation of more affordable housing units in the city for Section 8 voucher holders?
The Backyard Homes Project is a "one-stop-shop" incentive program that enables the average homeowner to contribute to our city’s affordable housing. We will support homeowners in building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in exchange for renting their unit out to a Section 8 voucher holder for a minimum of 5 years.
The Backyard Homes Project is led by LA-Más and our collective of partners — Genesis LA Economic Growth Corporation, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Restore Neighborhoods LA (RNLA), LA Family Housing, St. Joseph Center, Housing Rights Center and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA).
This incentive program offers homeowners optional financing, design, permitting, and construction support to build a new ADU in the City of Los Angeles. There will be two ways to participate in this program - both require a commitment to rent to a Section 8 tenant for a minimum of five years as well as a commitment to working with LA-Más and RNLA for design, permitting, and construction. Eligible homeowners can apply if they agree to house a Section 8 voucher holder in their new ADU for a minimum of 5 years and if their property is in a single family residential area located within the City of L.A.
Option A: Financing, Design, Construction Support
Option B: Design + Construction Support
Free project management
Affordable design and construction services
Optional financing in the form of a permanent mortgage product
Required landlord training and tenant support services
Possible signing bonus for new Section 8 landlords
In May 2017, LA-Más was awarded a HUD Section 4 Capacity Building Grant for Community Development and Affordable Housing from the Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LA LISC). This grant has supported LA-Más in laying the groundwork for The Backyard Homes Project. LA-Más held a series of focus groups throughout LA in late 2017 and early 2018 as well as convened an advisory committee of housing, financing, and government experts to inform this program. Check out our presentation here. In total, we heard from over 100 homeowners and professionals. With the support of Wells Fargo Foundation + Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LA LISC) LA-Más is able to support program management and architecture services.