New California Housing Law, An Opportunity For 'Sharp-Minded Entrepreneurs'

By Nethani Palmani | Mar 27, 2017 05:53 PM EDT

The lag of new-home construction and surge in home prices are especially dire in California, America's most populous state. To combat the crisis, the state has come up with a new California housing law that would help solve its affordable housing shortage.

A new California housing law, authored by California Sen. Bob Wieckowski, enables homeowners to build rental units on their property through one of these ways - garage conversions, home attachment, or as a new standalone structure. These types of housing residences are formally known as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

Matt Regan, senior vice president of housing policy at the Bay Area Council, says his organization and others are working towards developing new financing options specifically for homeowners building ADUs under the new California housing law, many of whom are "home rich and cash poor." This will allow people to pass through "the margins of qualification," according to according to Business Insider.

The current state law doesn't allow future rental income to qualify someone for a mortgage loan. Taking the factor into account, Regan has revealed that he is working with local and national banks, especially Wells Fargo, to create an ADU-specific home loan under the new California housing law.

But big banks act slow, Regan thinks. He believes a "sharp-minded entrepreneur" will provide quicker private financing and building for customers. However, The Information notes this with much caution because of regulatory inconsistencies and unproven business models.

Regan says the greatest benefit of the new California housing law to homeowners will be establishing a single source for the ADU process end-to-end, from building to finding tenants. "We've created a new asset class in the housing market, someone is going to step up and make a lot of money financing these things - and my suspicion is that it will come from a startup entrepreneur-type model," Regan says.

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