CANDO ADU Project

We offer hands-on support with planning, building, and renting your own Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Your lot may be eligible to build an accessory dwelling unit!

Newer state regulations make it easier for you to have a backyard home:

  • ADUs may be considered for any residential lot, regardless of local zoning and minimum lot size
  • No impact fees on ADUs less than 750 square feet, if larger, impact fees to be proportional to main house
  • Cities are required to review a submitted plan within 60 days
  • ADUs are counted in the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) which is mandated by State Housing Law as part of the process of updating local housing elements of the General Plan. In short, built ADUs can be considered resident-led affordable housing!

CANDO is here to help

A grant from the Packard Foundation makes it possible for us to provide help in all aspects, from project assessment to project completion, at no extra cost to income-qualified East Palo Alto homeowners.

In particular, EPACANDO can help with

  • evaluating how an ADU can fit on your lot
  • referrals to design-build teams, including access to pre-designed plans
  • Financial readiness assessments and information on available financing options
  • construction project management

In exchange, you agree to rent to people whose income is 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI), that is, to make your new unit “affordable”; that is:

You could receive rent up to $2400-$3100 per month from someone at this level, depending on the size of the unit.  Sample financial scenarios below.

In only about a year, you could add a rental unit to your backyard!  This can be done by taking advantage of experts available through CANDO.

What is an ADU?

“An ADU is a separate dwelling structure that is either attached (connected to) or detached (not connected to) the main house and has a full kitchen and full or partial bath.” – City of East Palo Alto

[ADU = Accessory Dwelling Unit]

How do we get started?

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Make an appointment with our experts

  • Contact one of our experts to work with you to further evaluate your property.
  • Together, we can discuss plans for your particular lot, including how the financing might work.

By filling out the form you will be agreeing to receive a free ADU Assessment of your property within 3-5 business days and determine if you are eligible to receive additional technical assistance and project management services at no cost through our fee waiver. For more information, please contact Iliana Nicholas by email at inicholas@epacando.org, or calling 650-473-9838, press 5

You can make an appointment with our experts, or assess your property yourself

 

We at EPACANDO are continually working to establish relationships with contractors. We want to help people access low-cost plans and services with contractors, in order to get an ADU built on their property.
For your ADU project you have the option to use
  • an established provider
  • another contractor of your choice.
If you choose another contractor, we can still provide services as applicable.
450 square feet – 1 Bedroom
800 square feet – 2 Bedrooms

ADU models built by CANDO ADU, Soup, and Modern Empathy

975 square feet – 3 Bedrooms, 2 baths

This is what the full process looks like

Process looks like

Consider the Financials

 Sample scenario

BREAKING NEWS:

In 2022 EPACANDO can help you with a CalHome loan for your ADU project! >>

By filling out the form you will be agreeing to receive a free ADU Assessment of your property within 3-5 business days and determine if you are eligible to receive additional technical assistance and project management services at no cost through our fee waiver. For more information, please contact Iliana Nicholas by email at inicholas@epacando.org, or calling 650-473-9838, press 5

Are there CANDO ADU projects in East Palo Alto right now?

Yes!

Four pilot  projects on Beech, Gardenia, and Cypress were submitted for City approval in spring 2020. Building permits were issued in early 2021, and we expect the projects to be completed in early 2022.  Tenants could be moving in as early as Summer 2022!

A pilot project on Green has a factory-built unit installed with a crane.

We will keep posting updates on the News page of this web site.

View two completed Soup projects in Menlo Park and Sunnyvale, which each use one of the floorplans .

Building the foundation for pilot project on Green Street, June 2020

Organizational Partners

EPACANDO works closely with City staff.  For this project EPACANDO is also partnering with Soup.is, a community of designers, developers, and activists working to make housing more affordable, accessible, and beautiful for working families.