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California State law as of 1/1/2020 will allow ADUs to be added to a multifamily home, without regard to zoning. I have a reverse mortgage on a duplex and need to use a portion of my unit for a personal caregiver who will have her own separate space with kitchen and bath, which is a conversion of existing space in my unit. I will need to permit this and get a cert of occupancy from the City In order to legally have the caregiver ADU. (I would use the other part of the duplex for the caregiver but it is not a legal reason to evict in California.) Would this be ok under HUD guidelines, and if not, do you have any suggestions?(Because of the lack of affordable housing, I note that many States and/or municipalities have added multifamily ADUs (or multiple ADUs to single family homes), which erases former single family zones among other things.). I would also mention that the stated and original purpose of a reverse mortgage was to allow the mortgageE the wherewithal an means to continue to live in their homes until death or extreme disability made that impossible.Thank you for any information you may have on a way forward with this question.

By Val D. on 12.04.2019

Hello Val,

HUD’s guidelines currently do not allow for multiple family units with added Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s). 

I realize that California and other states have laws that allow for many different situations in their codes that HUD deems ineligible, but it doesn’t change the eligibility for the loan under the HUD parameters. 

There are many circumstances in the HUD eligibility parameters that are legal under the state laws, zoning ordinances and building codes but still are not allowed based on HUD rules. 

Unfortunately, a change in state laws allowing for a building style or situation alone is not enough to persuade HUD to insure loans on that particular property.  They would have to look at the circumstances and determine their perceived risk in so doing.

Having said all that, HUD does change their rules periodically both as a result of changes to their stance on subjects as well as a result of pressure from lawmakers. 

My best advice to you would be to begin a campaign of correspondence to your Congressperson and your Senator to request that they lobby HUD to allow for such a change in their requirements. 

There is always a chance that HUD will change the requirements on their own as a result of their own perceived need for change, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to help push for changes you would like to see.


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