Affordable housing continues to be a challenge for many, and some are even forced into homelessness because they can’t afford rent. An effective solution has been the emergence of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) that provide smaller and less expensive housing options for economically challenged individuals. In the last three years, over 250 ADUs and JADUs have been approved in Richmond.
But the need remains great. As a result of COVID-19, a substantial number of individuals, who previously routinely worked in offices and other non-residential buildings, found that working from home is both more convenient and equally productive. Also, the economic effects of COVID-19 resulted in a number of businesses downsizing or going out of business entirely. This unused or underutilized space in commercial or institutional buildings could be used for low-cost housing.
On February 15, 2022, the City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance I authored that would allow JADUs in non-residential buildings as long as a “shelter crises,” as declared by the City Council, exists in Richmond. A Shelter Crisis was declared and adopted by the City Council as Resolution 79-018 on October 2, 2018