Small Homes, Big Impact

Building homes that more of our neighbors can afford is essential to all who live and work in our communities

The greater Bay Area is growing, but there simply aren’t enough homes for everyone. When homeowners add rental homes on their properties, we add viable housing options for people seeking to remain in our communities. This is where homeowners who feel powerless to take action against their friends, relatives and neighbors being pushed out can take action to help.

We believe Bay Area homeowners can help solve the housing crisis by building homes to rent in their own backyards. Small Homes, Big Impact offers educational workshops and financial assistance to homeowners wishing to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). This program

Join the Small Homes, Big Impact list to receive helpful information and program updates.

Notifications to Clients About No In-Person Meetings

Out of an abundance of caution, Housing Trust Silicon Valley will not be taking in-person meetings at this time. Following guidance by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, we are doing our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by minimizing close contact with people. We will be available to communicate with you via phone and email… read more here

Getting Started

Housing Trust’s monthly webinar series covers frequently asked questions about ADU construction, from the design and permitting process to choosing a builder/architect, information about our ADU construction loan program, and a Q&A session.

We will cover the following topics in separate webinars:

  • Can I build an ADU on my site?
  • What are the options for financing an ADU?
  • How do I get a permit to build an ADU?
  • How do I hire a builder and manage construction?
  • I’m a landlord – now what?

Look for upcoming ADU webinars on the sidebar or our Events Calendar

Financing your ADU

The financial assistance program will consist of a three year construction loan made by Housing Trust. The loan will be a second mortgage for a 36-month term at a competitive interest rate, and is available in June 2020.

  • Up to $200,000 (Max. amount) Both soft and hard costs are eligible (including architect, planning fees, construction, or purchase of prefab ADU)
  • Second mortgage / Deed of Trust
  • 36-month term / 20-year amortization
  • Minimum two-year affordability restriction / Tenant income restriction up to 120% of area median income ($110,400)
  • Loan amount will be sized based on rent
  • Up to 97% Combined Loan-to-Value (CLTV)

How to Apply

    Determining ADU Readiness

  1. Financial Readiness: Can You Answer ‘Yes’ to the Following?

    Do you have a minimum Credit Score of 680?

    Do you have a 1st loan on the property?

    Do you hold the title to the property?

    Do you have sufficient income to make payments on two mortgages?

  2. Project Readiness: Can You Answer ‘Yes’ to the Following?

    Do you have a site plan?

    Do you have a design for your ADU?

    Have you selected a General Contractor?

    Are you permit ready?

  3. Contact our ADU Team

    The ADU financial assistance program will be available in June 2020. Add your name to the Small Homes, Big Impact interest list.


Program Partners

  • J.P. Morgan Chase
  • Wells Fargo
  • AARP
  • Sares Regis Foundation
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Sign up for the ADU Program Interest List

Add your name to the Small Homes, Big Impact Interest list

Additional ADU Resources

SHBI ADU Presentation – Module 1 – 6.4.2020