Alameda County

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in applying to Alameda County's Bright in Your Own Backyard ADU program services! We are now accepting applications on a rolling basis for homeowners living in the Unincorporated Areas of the County who are interested in adding an ADU or a JADU to their single-family-home properties.  All eligible rolling applicants will be added to an active waitlist in the order that the application is received.  We will draw from the Bright in Your Own Backyard Waitlist and notify the waitlist applicant of the opportunity to move forward in the selection process throughout the year. 

Please note that at this time, this offering is only available to homeowners who live in the Unincorporated Areas of the County. These areas include: 
Ashland, Cherryland, Castro Valley, Castlewood, Fairview, Happy Valley, Hillcrest Knolls, Sunol and San Lorenzo as well as the unincorporated areas of Hayward, South Livermore and East Pleasanton.

STEP 1. Online Application

 Submit an online application which will (1) determine your initial eligibility (2) provide Hello Housing  with some basic information about your ADU/JAUD vision and your readiness and (3) ask you to affirm your understanding of what Bright in Your Own Backyard can and can’t do for you.


STEP 2. Lottery

If you meet the basic eligibility for Bright in Your Own Backyard, you will receive an email with a lottery number. If you do not meet the initial eligibility requirements, you will receive an email explaining why you are not being entered into the lottery.


Hello Housing will hold a lottery the week of November 29th. We will communicate your lottery results by email. We anticipate more applicant interest than available positions in the Program.  The purpose of the lottery is to establish a ranking order for Hello Housing to perform a Remote Assessment and to establish an applicant waitlist in order of the lottery rankings.

STEP 3. Remote Assessment & Phone Interview

A Remote Assessment involves (1) a review of remotely-available information specific to your address and (2) a phone interview with your household’s decision-maker(s). If our Remote Assessment concludes that your project is a good potential candidate for Bright in Your Own Backyard, and you are still interested in the program, we will invite you to submit documentation that shows your financial capacity to construct an ADU/JADU.

STEP 4. Financial Document Submittal

Financial documentation can include, for example, a pre-approval letter for a home equity loan, a bank statement, and/or a gift letter. (At this time, Alameda County's Bright in Your Own Backyard does not have financing available for the development of your ADU/JAUD, however we can refer you to lenders who do.) Once we have determined your financial documentation is sufficient, we will schedule an in-person Site Visit.

STEP 5. Site Visit

Site Visits will be scheduled during a weekday between 9AM and 5PM. It is our expectation that all decision-makers in your household participate, which will serve all of us well in the long run! At the Site Visit, we will walk your property together, learn more about your vision, review any sketches or drawings to date (if available), take measurements, locate utility connections, identify site conditions that may impact feasibility and construction cost, and discuss the pros and cons of alternative approaches.

STEP 6. Participant Package Submittal

If, following the Site Visit, you and Hello Housing mutually agree to move forward, you will be invited to submit a Participation Package which will include a Homeowner’s Participation Agreement, proof of property ownership, and any other documents identified at the Site Visit that are needed for Hello Housing to make a final selection. 

STEP 7. Participant Selections!

By the end of March 2022, we hope to have selected all 18 homeowners for the Program, and we will have created a waitlist so that if any of the first 18 homeowners selected decide at any point not to proceed, we can redirect our resources to the next homeowner on the waitlist.