In an effort to increase affordable housing in Csecondary-1oncord, the City of Concord has launched a two-year pilot program to encourage property owners to build small, secondary living units on their property. The units must be 640 sq. ft. or less. The program runs from May 12, 2016 through May 12, 2018.

Through the program, the City hopes to increase the amount of affordable housing in the community. The City is offering a 50 percent reduction in city-charged impact fees for the units, resulting in a discount of $4,985, removal of the requirement for an owner to occupy one of the units on the property, and implementation of an amnesty program for existing secondary units that were built without benefit of City permits (upon application and payment of fees and compliance with Building Codes – no penalty fines will be charged).

In addition, the Contra Costa Water District reduced its fees for detached secondary living units no larger than one-bedroom by approximately $5,000 as of February 1, 2016.

The program makes it easier for property owners to re-invest in their properties due to the increased demand for housing and high local rents. The small units could also help seniors and long-time residents remain in the community if they are no longer able to afford the costs of a larger home or apartment. An added bonus is that property owners will have less landscape to water if an additional part of the lot is converted from lawn to living space, helping to conserve water.

Details about the program are available on the City’s website,