L.A. Más: Help for Building Backyard Homes (ADUs)

2019 Editions January Updates

     L.A. Más, a non-profit urban design firm in Elysian Valley, is now taking applications from homeowners for its Backyard Homes Project.
     The project will help low-to-moderate income homeowners finance, design and build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their properties. In exchange, the homeowners will rent the ADUs, (often converted garages), for at least five years to low-income renters who have federal “Section 8” housing vouchers to help pay the rent.
     The program is designed as a win-win-win: Homeowners who participate will improve their properties and create a way to earn rental income. Renters will be able to obtain new units in neighborhoods they would otherwise not be able to afford. And the public will benefit from an increased supply of affordable units without large-scale development and taxpayer costs.
     The idea for Backyard Homes Project grew out of the family experience of Helen Leung, the co-executive director of L.A. Más, who grew up in Elysian Valley, a.k.a. Frogtown. Last October, in a “Get to Know” profile in the Boulevard Sentinel, Ms. Leung explained that there are many house-rich, cash-constrained homeowners in L.A. like her Chinese-immigrant parents, who bought their house in Frogtown 30 years ago. Backyard Homes Project will pair these lower-income homeowners with lower-income renters, in a way that improves and preserves neighborhoods.
     Applications from homeowners for the Backyard Homes Project are due by Jan. 15. Ten homeowners will be selected initially. To apply and get full details, including a list of the well-established nonprofits that are partnering with L.A. Más on the project, visit: mas.la/affordable-adus.
– Mary Lynch