San José’s “Yes, In My Backyard” Affordable Housing Program

Case Story
San José’s “Yes, In My Backyard” Affordable Housing Program

A recent survey of San José homeowners showed 31% are interested in building a cottage in their backyard to rent or to help house family members. Recent changes in state law have helped promote the adoption of these backyard units. And with many manufacturers stepping up to offer low-cost pre-built units, the city believes they can help drive down costs by promoting economies of scale – so they are encouraging participation in their “Yes, In My Backyard” Affordable Housing Program. This program is a partnership with Housing Trust and will waive city fees associated with developing an ADU and offer forgivable loans to residents interested in building ADUs. Additionally the city is working with business, advocacy and philanthropic organizations to: 

  • Convene builders of modular, pre-fabricated ADUs who may be willing to offer low-cost packages to homeowners; 
  • Co-host an ADU showcasing event that would allow homeowners to review floorplans, designs and costs of installing and ADU; and 
  • Explore the feasibility of using innovative financing models similar to energy-efficiency financing that would lower, or eliminate, up-front costs for homeowners.

Learn more on the SJ Backyard Homes website.