In 2014, San Francisco passed legislation allowing property owners to add accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, to their homes and buildings. The law was then expanded in late 2016 so that any building with at least five existing apartments could add an unlimited number of units, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
As property owners take advantage of the new law, the city has seen an explosion of ADUs over the past year. "There are now 1,046 ADUs in the pipeline, with building permits approved for 531 of them," according to the Chronicle.
These units, often called "granny flats," typically consist of converted garages or basements. "Pretty much every multi-unit building with crappy old storage rooms is taking a look at this," John Pollard of the SF Garage Co. told the Chronicle. "You've got all these property owners that realize they are sitting on dead equity."
That means everything from a boiler room to basement storage has the potential to become a new housing unit. One landlord in San Francisco's Nob Hill neighborhood is turning a ground-floor dining hall into seven individual units, the Chronicle reports. The apartments will be between 220 and 381 square feet and cost anywhere from $2,400 to $2,800 a month.