CANDO ADU ProjectWe offer support to create your own Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
Your lot is eligible for a cottage or rental unit!
California ADU regulations now make it easier for you to have
a backyard home:
The new law states that an ADU may be considered for any residential lot, regardless of local zoning (which may previously have prohibited it). The goal is to provide additional housing for our community and generate additional income for you
Another law, to speed the development process, requires the city to review a submitted plan within 60 days.
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 East Palo Alto homeowners.
In particular, EPACANDO can help with
- evaluating how an ADU can fit on your lot
- pre-made designs, which have been approved
- links to financing options
- project management for construction
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 EPACANDO, and using pre-defined plans.
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]
Choose a pre-designed floor plan or a custom design
- Take less time & save money on architects and engineers
- Require less coordination between independent designers and contractors
- Tend to reduce approval time because the plans have been approved before
- Optimize for energy efficiency, daylighting, usability, and comfort
Custom designs can also be used or made. Contact an expert for more details.
How do we get started?
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.
You can make an appointment with our experts, or assess your property yourself
We want to help people access low-cost plans and services with contractors, in order to get an ADU built on their property.
- an established provider
- another contractor of your choice.
Consider the Financials
Are there CANDO ADU projects in East Palo Alto right now?
Three projects on Beech, Gardenia, and Cypress were submitted for City approval this spring (2020) – which could bring them to the next stage within 60 days (barring Covid-19 delays).
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 .
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.
What does ‘80% AMI’ mean for the rent you can charge?
San Mateo County establishes income categories, and related maximum affordable rent payments, as a percentage of Area Median Income (AMI). In 2020, AMI in San Mateo County for a household of four is $143,100.
Households of 4 people who earn less than $139,400 or 80 percent of the AMI are considered low-income households.
(Very low-income households earn less than $87,000 or 50 percent of the AMI, and extremely low-income households earn less than $52,200 or 30 percent of the AMI.)
For housing to be affordable, no more than 30 percent of a household’s income should be allocated for rent payments.
To put things in perspective, a 2-bedroom unit for $3,132 is considered affordable to a household earning less than 80 percent of the AMI.
|INCOME LIMITS FOR HOUSEHOLD SIZE||1 person
|Low Income (Less than 80% AMI)||$97,600||$111,550||$125,500||$139,400|
|MONTHLY RENTAL LIMITS||Studio||1- Bedroom||2- Bedroom||3- Bedroom|
|Low Income (Less than 80% AMI)||$2,440||$2,610||$3,132||$3,620|
(PDF: full table of maximum allowable rent at San Mateo County Housing income limits )
ANOTHER EXAMPLE at 80% AMI: If you want to charge maximum rent for a studio [1 person], you could charge 30% of $97,600 per year, or that amount per month, 30% x $97,600/12 = $2440. (And person renting must qualify to be in the 80% AMI income category)