Creating “Junior Units” in Marin, CA

The Community Land Trust Association of Marin (CLAM) has created an innovative housing solution in their Real Community Rentals program, which works with local homeowners to help create rental units – often from a spare bedroom – on their property. The County of Marin and the Marin Housing Authority work with CLAM to offer incentives to homeowners willing to create rentals on their property and set rents below market rate. Many homeowners are stepping up and literally saying, “yes, in my backyard” because they care about the stability of their community.

The Real Community Rental program creates junior accessory dwelling units (JADU), which differ from traditional second units in ways that make them a low-cost, low-impact way to create more homes in West Marin. JADUs are created by repurposing a bedroom in an existing home. A separate entrance and kitchette are added to create a studio apartment. A JADU can have its own bathroom or share a bathroom with the main house. JADUs do not redefine single-family homes, as the door adjoining the JADU to the rest of the home remains. They do not increase density, as the living and sleeping capacity of a home does not change.

One of Housing Solutions Network’s Housing Action Teams is assessing the possibility of creating a similar model here in Jefferson County.

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