California sees rise in granny flat construction

Posted at 10:07 AM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 13:10:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A solution to San Diego’s housing crisis could be right in your backyard.

New statistics show construction of “granny flats” is increasing throughout California, and Encinitas is one of several cities trying to make them easier to build.

In 2017, a state law took effect to help ease the rules on granny flats, which are typically small home units located on a property where a single-family home already exists.

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Encinitas officials are getting in on the growing trend by looking to relax city rules and lower fees. The Encinitas City Council wants to double the number of permits they give out in the next year.

A recent study by ATTOM Data Solutions shows granny flat permits in California increased from about 2,600 in 2016 to 4,300 in 2017 -- a 63-percent increase.

In San Diego, the number of granny flat permits increased 71 percent from 2016 to 2017.

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San Diego County realtors say granny flats are one way to chip away at the ongoing housing crisis.

Steve Fraioli, president of the San Diego Association of Realtors, told 10News, “Our children can’t afford to live here anymore. They’re going to school, coming out of school and they can’t afford to buy a home. This is maybe one way parents can keep their children local and keep children in California, where they want them to be.”

Granny flats, realtors say, could also help renters because rent is typically cheaper on a granny flat than for an apartment unit.