LOS ANGELES, CA—Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez issued the following statement in response to the Los Angeles Times publishing an editorial yesterday in support of her motion to eliminate a significant obstacle in the process of converting an unpermitted structure, usually a garage, into a legal accessory dwelling unit (ADU):

“I’ve spent over a decade working on affordable housing issues. I know we have no time to squander when it comes to delivering affordable housing options for Angelenos, and I thank the Los Angeles’ Times editorial board for their support. My motion to streamline the process of converting unpermitted structures into legal ADUs is one of the many tools necessary as part of a comprehensive affordable housing strategy and as a homeless prevention tool.”

Los Angeles Times Editorial: L.A. can make it easier to legalize backyard homes

December 21, 2022

Key Excerpts:

  • Los Angeles Councilmember Monica Rodriguez introduced a motion earlier this month directing city departments to look at removing barriers to legalizing conversions, including creating a temporary amnesty program that would let property owners legalize their unpermitted units without penalty if they commit to keeping the units affordable if used as rentals.
  • Los Angeles is desperately short of safe, low-cost housing, and accessory dwelling units tend to be priced lower than a traditional house or apartment. If the city can cut through the red tape that discourages property owners from seeking permits, while ensuring units are up to health and safety codes for tenants, it should do so immediately.
  • It can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive to legalize units, some of which can be decades old. In cases where the original structure, such as a garage, storage shed or home addition, did not have a permit, the city will require the property owner to turn the unit back into a shed or storage shed, get a permit for that use and then begin the application process to turn the space into an accessory dwelling unit. That’s absurd and counterproductive. Not surprisingly, few property owners choose to go through those hoops.
  • Accessory dwelling units are a relatively easy way for Los Angeles to add more housing at lower cost. It makes sense to do everything possible to encourage property owners to bring their unpermitted units and tenants out of the shadows.

To read the complete LA Times Editorial, please click here.

A copy of Councilwoman Rodriguez’s motion can be found here.

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Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the City’s Chair of Public Safety and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which includes the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon. For more information, please visit https://monicarodriguez.org/.