County of Marin - News Releases - JADU Expo

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2019

Expo to Provide Answers about JADUs Inside Homes

Experts will be on hand February 7 to discuss junior accessory dwelling units

San Rafael, CA – What exactly is a junior accessory dwelling unit, also known as a JADU (or Jay-doo)? In the big picture, it’s one way to help alleviate Marin County’s housing crisis. More specifically, it’s a room rental within an existing residence; such units usually have a small food preparation area and separate entrance/exit. A chance is coming up February 7 to learn more about them.

The front of home in San Rafael is shown with the main front door on the left and the accessory unit front door on the right.Junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) have a separate entrance from the main entry of a home.
JADUs can provide homeowners, including seniors on fixed incomes, an income source that increases the odds of the homeowner remaining in their home. It also creates a new home for somebody seeking an affordable place to live. Both scenarios help the County of Marin address one of its top priorities: to be a welcoming place for all people by preventing permanent displacement from Marin and creating new affordable housing options within existing dwellings.

On Thursday, February 7, several agencies are collaborating to host a JADU Expo at Whistlestop in downtown San Rafael. Exhibitors will be on hand to answer questions about how to convert an existing room into a rentable JADU. Contractors, planners, and financial advisors can help visitors learn about the simple conversion process. Personnel from municipalities throughout Marin, including the Marin County Community Development Agency, will be ready to answer questions.

“JADUs are seen as a way to increase the county’s housing stock while supporting older adults who wish to age in place,” said County Housing Planning Manager Leelee Thomas.

It could be a particularly opportune time for homeowners living in unincorporated parts of Marin to consider adding such a rental unit. In December 2018, the County of Marin extended and expanded a fee waiver program to encourage the creation of JADUs and the accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which have full kitchens. Homeowners may qualify to save $1,500 in fees for adding a JADU or $3,500 in fees for adding an ADU.

Marin’s Aging Action Initiative and Marin County Commission on Aging are co-hosting the expo. Funded by the County of Marin, the Aging Action Initiative promotes a countywide age-friendly environment, especially for those in need, collectively created by a strong network of service providers through education, policy advocacy, and service coordination. The Commission on Aging is a federally mandated advisory council to the Marin County Board of Supervisors that closely with the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of Marin's older adults.

The expo will be from 9-11 a.m. inside Whistlestop’s Jackson Café. The Whistlestop building is at 930 Tamalpais Avenue, part of the downtown transit center between Third Street and Fourth Street. Email with questions.

Anyone may subscribe to receive e-mailed notifications about housing-related issues. For more information on the applicable standards and permit process for JADUs and ADUs, contact the Marin County Building and Safety office at 415-473-6550 or check the Building and Safety Code Division webpage.


Jillian Nameth Zeiger
Housing and Federal Grants Planner
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7549
Email: Jillian Nameth Zeiger
CDA website