This Week in Pods

Photo credit: Clinton Steeds, CC BY 2.0.

There hasn’t been any good pod news in… well, weeks. I keep checking, but at this point we’re pretty much saturated with pods: the kind you sleep in at the airport, the kind you hide in at work, the kind that makes yogurt or weed coffee, etc. etc. etc.

So I’m going to count this story as “pod news,” because you know that pods will eventually get involved:

LA has miles and miles of single-family homes, each with a backyard. By relaxing backyard homebuilding rules, [UCLA CityLab Director Dana Cuff] says cities can boost affordable housing stock without spending any money. And families can turn their garages and backyards into sources of income. 

“Basically, it puts the growth of the city in the hands of individual property owners, so they get the benefits,” Cuff said.

That’s from Marketplace, and it’s about a new California law that allows people to put accessory dwelling units, such as granny pods, in their backyards.

This sounds like it could be a win-win for people that need affordable housing and people that need extra money to pay their mortgages—or for people who need a space for a family member, whether aging parent or just-getting-started twenty-something, to live independently—but Marketplace also notes that it could be a lose-lose for parking and traffic. (Twice as many cars in residential neighborhoods.)

And yes, part of me is a little uncomfortable with the idea that one group of people gets to live in the house and another group gets to live in the tiny house in the backyard, but I see so many benefits to this that I hope it will all work out.

What about you?

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