Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), or small housing units built on existing properties, have been much buzzed about as a solution to the affordable housing crisis nationwide. And now, installing a stylish backyard dwelling just got a lot easier for people living in San Jose, California.
The city recently approved a backyard apartment model from Bay Area housing startup Abodu, as part of its new plan to incentivize more housing stock through pre-approved ADUs. The initiative would allow residents to buy and install the 500-square-foot prefab house in as little as two weeks, cutting out the annoying and lengthy process of applying for a permit and construction.
The Abodu home, the first pre-approved design under the San Jose program, might look familiar to prefab fans. The backyard builder tapped U.K. studio Koto to adapt its Scandinavian-style cabins for U.S. customers. Like other Koto designs (including this impressive prefab playhouse), Koto’s $199,000 model for Abodu is clad in lightly charred timber and features a subtly angled roof, lending the house its distinctly modern character.
The one-bedroom dwelling sports pale wood floors and stark white walls inside. Buyers can opt for fancier (and pricier) finishes, built-in furniture, landscaping, and a curated furniture package that makes renting the space hassle-free.
In addition to pre-approved backyard dwellings, the San Jose city council is also considering an added incentive of a loan forgiveness program that would waive up to $20,000 for people who rent out their ADU as affordable housing for five years.