ADU Benefits For Seniors in California
ADU Benefits For Seniors in California

As the population of seniors in California continues to grow, so does the need for affordable and accessible housing options. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are becoming an increasingly popular solution for seniors who want to age in place while maintaining their independence. In this article, we will explore the benefits of ADUs for seniors in California based on the top 10 search results.

Aging in Place

Aging in place refers to the ability of seniors to live in their own homes for as long as possible as they age. ADUs can help seniors age in place by providing a balance of independence and closeness to family members who can offer assistance within seconds, if needed.

ADUs can be constructed to give an aging relative the chance to continue living independently with features such as a separate entrance, kitchen, bath, etc. With so many horror stories of neglect and abuse at elder care facilities, an ADU gives seniors the ability to oversee their own care directly, whatever the level of care they may need. Many families choose to build an ADU as a more affordable alternative to the high costs of assisted living. The long-term savings can add up over time and be significant.

Multigenerational Living

Multigenerational living refers to the practice of multiple generations living together in the same household. ADUs can facilitate multigenerational living by providing a separate, more accessible home on the property. The main house can be rented or a grown child can live there (with his or her family). Other options are to use the ADU as living quarters for a caregiver or for a relative who requires care. An ADU can provide a place for a family member to live together on the same property, such as an elderly parent or grandparent, children, or grandchildren, while still providing private spaces.

Extra Source of Income

ADUs can generate extra income for seniors by renting them out. This can help offset mortgage costs or generate income once the mortgage is paid off on the primary home. An ADU can be rented out for retirement income, defraying the cost of construction, which can be as low as about $40,000 or reach into the hundreds of thousands.

Affordable Housing

ADUs can help address the affordable housing crisis in California. They are an affordable type of home to construct because they do not require paying for land, major new infrastructure, structured parking, or elevators. ADUs are built with cost-effective one- or two-story wood frame construction, which is significantly less costly than homes in new multifamily infill buildings.

ADUs give homeowners the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they require more care and helping extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy. Relaxed regulations and the cost to build an ADU make it a very feasible affordable housing option.

Real-Life Examples

Case studies of seniors who have built ADUs in California show the challenges and benefits of building an ADU. Tips for seniors who are considering building an ADU include designing it with best practices and universal design taking their unique needs into account. The design should include accessibility considerations for their specific needs, while still considering all of the different use cases the home will have in the future.

Financing an ADU

The costs associated with building an ADU should be taken into account. State and local financing options for ADUs are available. Seniors who are seeking financing for an ADU should consider the costs and benefits of building an ADU.


ADUs are a critical form of infill-development that can be affordable and offer important housing choices within existing neighborhoods. ADUs allow seniors to age in place, facilitate multigenerational living, generate extra income, and address the affordable housing crisis in California. With most neighborhoods already built out, ADUs are a great way to add additional housing opportunities in existing neighborhoods. Seniors who are considering building an ADU should take into account the costs and benefits of building an ADU, and design it with best practices and universal design taking their unique needs into account.