HOME RUN Brand new law will give homeowners $40k to build tiny homes in their yard from $25m pot, but realtors have stark warning

HOMEOWNERS have a chance at $40,000 in free money to build a tiny home.

A new California Senate bill is heading to Governor Gavin Newsom for approval that could revolutionize housing in Santa Barbara.

Affordable housing is scarce in the area, but a new solution is being proposed in an effort to alleviate that issue.

“We live in a state in the area of Santa Barbara where the price per square foot is really expensive and housing is really expensive," Yawar Charlie, a realtor with AKG/Christie's International Real Estate, told local ABC, CBS, and Fox affiliate KEYT.

"So when people look to buy a house, they look at it now with the eyes of, Well, what can I do to maximize the space? What can I do to help pay the mortgage? Oftentimes the ADU is a great answer to a lot of those questions.”

ADUs, which are accessory dwelling units, are small living spaces that typically come from converted garages or sheds.

More simply put, an accessory dwelling unit is just an official term for a tiny home.

Senate Bill 104, which is heading to Newsom, will provide $25million in funding for the ADU grant program.

Any homeowner approved for this program will receive up to $40,000 in predevelopment costs to construct an ADU.

This funding could create around 2,500 living spaces in Santa Barbara and be a key weapon in fighting the area's housing crisis.

“The more we start to do this, the more it gets accepted, the more it will start to fill the void for housing rental needs we have, and especially for young families or students, they can afford to live in a 1250 square foot place and they can get to school or get to work,” Berkshire Hathaway Realtor Dan Johnson said.

Building an ADU isn't a weekend project though, and realtors are warning homeowners to weigh the costs and risks before applying for the grant.

“It’s not just like a garage that you're going to convert into a gym or a workshop," Coldwell Banker realtor Yazmin Manno said.

"It's actually a place where somebody is going to live. So you have to take into consideration that you're probably going to bring on some people like electricians, architects, contractors, plumbers."


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