Up to $40,000 Available for ADU Homeowners in Orange County

12/20/20233 min read


New funding opportunities have emerged for homeowners in Orange County who are looking to develop Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), commonly referred to as granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, or second units. The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) ADU Program is offering grants of up to $40,000 to qualified homeowners to help cover the pre-development costs associated with building an ADU.

The CalHFA ADU Program aims to support homeowners by reimbursing them for expenses such as site preparation, architectural designs, permits, soil tests, impact fees, property reports, and energy reports. These funds can help alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with ADU construction, making it more accessible for homeowners with low or moderate incomes.

The Benefits of Building an ADU

Accessory Dwelling Units have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their numerous benefits. Here are some of the advantages of building an ADU:

  1. Extra Living Space: ADUs provide additional living space on your property, which can be used for various purposes. Whether you need extra room for family members, a home office, a rental unit, or a space for aging parents, an ADU offers a flexible solution.
  2. Increased Property Value: Adding an ADU to your property can significantly increase its value. This is especially beneficial if you plan to sell your home in the future, as ADUs are in high demand and can attract potential buyers.
  3. Rental Income: Renting out your ADU can provide a steady stream of rental income. This can help offset mortgage payments or provide additional financial security.
  4. Multi-Generational Living: ADUs are ideal for multi-generational living arrangements, allowing families to stay close while still maintaining privacy and independence.
  5. Environmental Sustainability: ADUs are often built with energy-efficient features, reducing overall energy consumption and promoting sustainable living.

Qualifying for the CalHFA ADU Program

To be eligible for the CalHFA ADU Program and receive up to $40,000 in funding, homeowners must meet certain criteria. The program specifically targets homeowners with low or moderate incomes, aiming to provide financial assistance to those who need it the most.

Here are the key eligibility requirements:

  • Homeownership: Only homeowners are eligible for the program. If you are renting a property, you would not qualify for this particular funding opportunity.
  • Location: The CalHFA ADU Program is available for homeowners in Orange County. It is important to note that eligibility may vary depending on the specific location within the county.
  • Income Level: To qualify, homeowners must have a low or moderate income. Specific income thresholds will be outlined by the CalHFA ADU Program, and applicants will need to provide proof of their income status.
  • Pre-Development Costs: The funding is specifically intended to cover pre-development costs associated with building an ADU. These costs may include site preparation, architectural designs, permits, soil tests, impact fees, property reports, and energy reports.

It is important to carefully review the program guidelines and requirements to ensure eligibility before proceeding with the application process.

How to Apply for the CalHFA ADU Program

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in applying for the CalHFA ADU Program, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Research: Begin by researching the program guidelines and requirements to ensure that you meet all the necessary criteria.
  2. Consultation: Reach out to the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) for any additional information or clarification you may need. They can provide guidance on the application process and assist you in understanding the program fully.
  3. Application: Complete the application form provided by CalHFA. Make sure to fill out all the required fields accurately and provide any necessary documentation to support your eligibility.
  4. Submission: Submit your completed application along with any supporting documents to the designated CalHFA office. Be sure to double-check that all the required materials are included to avoid any delays in the review process.
  5. Review: CalHFA will review your application and assess your eligibility for the ADU Program. This process may take some time, so it is important to be patient and follow up if necessary.
  6. Approval and Disbursement: If your application is approved, you will receive notification from CalHFA. The funds will be disbursed to you to cover the eligible pre-development costs associated with building your ADU.

It is important to note that the availability of funds is limited, and the demand for the CalHFA ADU Program is high. Therefore, it is advisable to submit your application as soon as possible to increase your chances of receiving funding.


The CalHFA ADU Program presents a valuable opportunity for homeowners in Orange County who are interested in building Accessory Dwelling Units. With grants of up to $40,000 available, homeowners can receive financial assistance to cover the pre-development costs associated with ADU construction. This program not only promotes affordable housing options but also supports sustainable living and multi-generational arrangements.

If you are a homeowner in Orange County with a low or moderate income and are considering building an ADU, the CalHFA ADU Program could be the solution you've been looking for. Take advantage of this funding opportunity and explore the benefits of adding an ADU to your property.





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