Could granny flats help ease the state’s housing crisis? Some advocates think so

Several years ago, Patsy Spitta of Altadena wanted to help her daughter afford a home — something out of reach for many teachers like her daughter.
She would build a backyard house and live there, allowing her daughter and grandson to leave their $2,500-a-month apartment and move into the two-bedroom house Spitta purchased three decades ago.

The only problem? A series of municipal regulations made the project infeasible.

“Then,” Spitta said, “the rules changed.”

Specifically, a series of state laws took effect last year that seek to ease California’s housing shortage by eliminating local restrictions that made it difficult or impossible to build such small second homes, commonly known as granny flats.

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