What is ADU SLO?

Started in 2019, ADU SLO, a Program of Smart Share Housing Solutions, was created to assist property owners on the logistics of adding housing units using backyards, garages, infill lots and existing buildings that already have infrastructure and embedded energy grid. Smart Share supports opportunities for safe and affordable housing through Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Tiny House on Wheels (THOWs) in San Luis Obispo County backyards.

What is an ADU? Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a permanent residential dwelling unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, and is accessory to an existing or proposed primary dwelling.  An ADU is also called a second unit, a junior accessory dwelling unit (JADU), granny flat, in-law unit, or backyard cottage, and is an additional unit of housing added to a parcel of land containing a single-family home.

Some of the many benefits of having an ADU might be having a flexible living space that meets the needs of families that are branching, blending, and/or aging. Many homeowners find the supplemental income outweigh the costs of building an ADU, which increases their long term financial stability. Check out the many resources below for the financing aspect of adding an ADU to your home to see if this is right for you.

What is a THOW? Tiny Homes On Wheels (THOWs) are movable tiny houses that are typically separate, independent living quarters with the following characteristics:

  • No larger than 400 square feet

  • Mounted on a wheeled trailer frame

  • Includes basic functional areas that support normal daily routines, including a bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping area

  • Designed and built to look like a conventional single-family house

  • Utilizes conventional building materials

- Two exciting projects for 2024 -

The Arroyo Grande "How To ADU" Project (L), and the Demo-Off Grid Caretaker's Cottage (R)

Smart Share Housing Solutions is pleased to continue its series of workshops for Arroyo Grande homeowners this spring. Click here: AG ADU/THOW for complete information on this project.

Demo Off-Grid Caretaker's Cottage
Demo Off-Grid Caretaker's Cottage

This cute tiny home Illustrates how a small living space can be a pleasing, energy efficient and affordable home, particularly for the County's 1 in 4 single person households. Click here: Demo Cottage for complete information on this project.

- Demo Off-Grid Caretaker's Cottage Photo Collage -

Visit the Demo Cottage page for more information.

Executive Director Anne (L) at the Tiny House Expo
Executive Director Anne (L) at the Tiny House Expo

In mid 2019, ADU SLO held the Tiny Footprint Expo, showcasing small homes and offering educational workshops. 850 persons attended more than 25 educational workshops and more than 6,000 people attended the 3-day event!

Looking for more information on ADUs and THOWs? We recommend these links and resources:

  • Check the Smart Share Housing Solutions YouTube Channel here:
  • Discover the Casita Coalition's wealth of resources, including informational booklets and videos and legislative updates here:
  • American Tiny House Association:
  • You can also find a wealth of useful information on ADUs from California's Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) here:
  • Your one-stop source about accessory dwelling units, multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law units:
  • HelloADU's programs are designed to support homeowners through every phase of the design and construction process creating housing stability for existing homeowners while adding new rental units that are affordable to a median-income tenant:

YIMBY spoken here--yes in my backyard!

ADU SLO helps bring tiny house dreams to life in SLO city backyards

Smart Share Housing Solution's program ADU SLO, created to make connections between people and tiny house living. A new ordinance now allows Tiny Houses On Wheels (THOWs) in SLO City, Grover Beach, and Arroyo Grande backyards, opening up new housing possibilities. (For now only these three cities allow ADU/THOWs.)

We're here to help folks go from dream to reality, whether they have a lot that might be suitable, or own their own tiny house and are looking for a yard to host it.

The photo shows the first yardshare match in SLO! Rita and Taylor agreed to share Taylor's yard and Rita moved her tiny house in on August 13th. Congrats to both! 

Our staff has background in planning, permitting and construction, and experience in drafting sharing agreements. Sign up to receive e-newsletters on our  Contact page to stay in the loop, or email us at for any specific questions.