ADU Initiative


From 2018-2021, United Way Monterey County is focused on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as a way to expand affordable housing within Monterey County.

This program is no longer active. However, please see below for resources related to ADUs in Monterey County.


What are ADUs?

ADUs are second units that are built on the same lot as a single-family home. ADUs can be built as an attachment to an existing home or garage, a conversion of a garage or existing structure, a detached unit, or can exist entirely within the primary home. ADUs can be a source of additional income for homeowners as well as provide an affordable and convenient place to live for residents.

The state of California recognizes ADUs as one of the strategies needed to tackle the housing crisis. However, even with state legislation removing policy barriers to ADU development, there are still many challenges homeowners face in the planning, permitting, and building stages of an ADU.

What are Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs)?

A JADU is a second unit that is within an existing single-family residence and is limited to 500 sq. ft. A JADU does not need to have a full kitchen, but must have an "efficiency kitchen" and may include either separate sanitation facilities or share sanitation facilities with the existing residence. A JADU must be constructed from an existing bedroom and include a separate entrance from the main entrance to the JADU.


ADU White Paper: “Strengthening ADU Policies and Practices in Monterey County”


In 2018, the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) published a Housing Policy White Paper, outlining several ways local governments can increase housing production, one of which is to encourage comprehensive accessory dwelling unit (ADU) production policies. A year later, United Way Monterey County partnered with MBEP and other local nonprofit leaders, community volunteers, local design professionals, and local jurisdiction staff to establish an ADU Initiative and Advisory to support the development of pro ADU policies and production county-wide. Since then, UWMC has published a homeowners survey, co-hosted three ADU workshops, and developed a centralized resource hub to support homeowners, housing staff, planners, builders, housing advocates and others in the advancement of ADU projects and policies. UWMC oversees and convenes the ADU Advisory group on a regular basis to provide capacity building, technical assistance, and industry material to share with their constituents. MBEP continues to play an advisory role and teamed up with UWMC to co-write a white paper on ADUs to help strengthen ADU policies and practices in Monterey County. This collaborative document was co-authored by MBEP’s Ashley Gauer and UWMC’s Kelly deWolfe, with input from many partners including ADU Advisory Group members and other local ADU policy experts.

The first section of the white paper is designed to be an accessible, concise explanation of new state law updates, highlighting key takeaways and clarifying key points of confusion within the new laws. The second section offers policies and practices that can support local governments, residents and other stakeholders involved in the creation of ADUs to strengthen the local ADU market.

The policy and program recommendations in this paper are meant to help educate residents, jurisdictions and other stakeholders involved in ADU development on new state laws in addition to ADU benefits, opportunities, and resources that are available to them.

The document is open for continuous feedback and comments. Please contact United Way Monterey County ( or the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership ( for questions and/or presentations.

Can I Build an ADU?

Whether you are within city limits or in unincorporated County, technically YES! State law allows you to build an ADU or a JADU (or potentially both!) if you have a single-family residential lot. There are some requirements based on your city or county ADU ordinance, that may limit the size or type of ADU that you can build. Click here to learn more about local resources available to you.

Are you a homeowner with an interest to build an ADU on your property or do you currently own a property with an ADU on the lot? We want to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to fill out one of our surveys:


ADU Advisory Group

In order to address these remaining barriers, UWMC formed an ADU Advisory Group to develop cross-functional coordination, synergy, and collaborative action in support of the development of new ADUs in Monterey County. Members of the Group include UWMC, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay, County of Monterey, City of Salinas, Community Housing Improvements Systems and Planning Association Inc (CHISPA), Monterey County Housing Authority Development Corporation (HDC), Rehabilitation Restoration Respite (R3), City of Seaside, and community volunteers.

The ADU Advisory Group’s goal is to spark aligned actions to increase the number of ADUs in the County.

The Advisory Group’s roles are to:

  1. Analyze problems and understand systems affecting the construction of ADUs in the county, including inequities, baseline, trends, and changes over time.
  2. Identify effective solutions (strategies) and support their implementation – either directly or by advocating for program, practice, or policy changes.
  3. Support mutual accountability for results by monitoring implementation and addressing new challenges as they arise.

If you or your organization is interested in reducing policy barriers to ADU development, advocating for supportive ADU policies, participating in the ADU Advisory Workgroup and/or increasing ADU development in Monterey County, please contact Niko Garbacz, Community Impact Associate at United Way Monterey County and Staff Liaison for the ADU Advisory Workgroup at (831) 318-1997 or by email.