The ADU – A Housing Solution to Help Young Adults Affected by the Covid-19 Economic Downturn


A recent New York Times article titled “Facing Adulthood with an Economic Disaster’s Lasting Scars” pointed out that many young adults are now facing challenges because of the Covid-19 economic downturn:

Young adults, especially those without a college degree, are particularly vulnerable in recessions. They are new to the job market — with scant on-the-job experience and little or no seniority to protect them from layoffs. A large body of research — along with the experience of those who came of age in the last recession — shows that young people trying to start their careers during an economic crisis are at a lasting disadvantage. Their wages, opportunities and confidence in the workplace may never fully recover.

Even with a college degree, a young adult may face student loan debt in addition to a job market with fewer opportunities. Some young adults have returned home to live with their parents during the pandemic.

At this time, parents with children who are young adults may want to consider building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). There are several benefits to building an ADU for a young adult:

  • The young adult can have their own living space apart from the main house.
  • The ADU can act as a starter home for the young adult at a lower cost than a typical entry-level home.
  • The parents can add something of lasting value to their property.

It is a good time to build an ADU because the new 2020 California laws make it easier for  homeowners with a single-family lot to add an ADU to their properties. Some of these laws were discussed in previous blog posts. In addition, the current low-interest rate environment may help a homeowner obtain the necessary funds to build an ADU.

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