Sarah Thomaz, a UC Irvine Phd. student who has been working on a study of ADUs in Los Angeles, said the units are a way to work around the objections of residents who oppose affordable housing projects. “So in California, if you want to build low-cost housing or a huge apartment complex in a community, you need the community members’ approval,” Thomaz said. “So a lot of those end up getting shut down because people don’t want to densify the neighborhoods. But ADUs have no such restriction on them. So if you can get enough people to adopt this, this is a really good way to get more density without sort of needing that community approval.”

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