Safer Share

Looking to create a separate living space in your home for rental income or family flexibility? You have options! Smart Share Housing Solutions has a new program to help you understand them and get started.

What is an 'accessory dwelling unit' or ADU?

  • A smaller, additional living space on the same lot as a primary residence
  • Sometimes called a granny flat, casita, backyard cottage
  • Includes garage conversions, apartments above garages, private attached suites, attics, basements, fully detached backyard homes

Why do people build ADUs or JADUs?

  • For income from a long term rental
  • To house a caregiver in a separate space but nearby
  • For flexible housing for family members
  • To downsize into and rent your larger space out

Types of Accessory Dwelling Units

JADU--Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit--Attached private living space

JADUs (Junior Accessory Dwelling Units) are created in existing space in the home such as an extra bedroom, attached garage, basement, attic or space over garage. They are usually the least expensive, least complicated option for adding a housing unit. If you have a bedroom with a slider or french door to the outside, you're most of the way there. Just add a mini-fridge, microwave, some counter and cabinet space to meet the bare minimum in most jurisdictions. Owner occupancy of either the main home or the JADU is required in SLO county. 

ADU--Accessory Dwelling Unit--Detached private living space

New rules in California allow smaller, backyard homes to be built on most single family lots for personal use or as long-term rentals. Converting detached garages can help jumpstart the process, or design it from the ground up to meet your needs and fit in your yard space. Interested in resources to learn more about how this could work for you? Contact us by completing the form below or call our office at 805-215-5474. 

JADUs, or Junior Accessory Dwelling Units, are separate living spaces created in an existing part of your home, such as an extra bedroom, attached garage, bonus room, attic, basement, or room over the garage. JADUs are the least expensive, fastest option. At minimum, they include a separate entrance and an efficiency kitchen.

Tiny homes on wheels are legal in SLO city backyards now and other cities in our county are considering allowing them as a type of accessory dwelling unit. Permits only needed for the utility hookups. THOWs (tiny homes on wheels) can be from 120-400 sq ft, not including lofts.

Garage conversions can be created in an attached or detached garage. This can be a great option for creating a private housing unit on your lot and can save time and money compared to starting from scratch with a foundation-built ADU.


Sample casita photos courtesy of