About AHA

About Big Small Houses

We are developers/builders of affordable housing, with special competency in accessible ADUs.  ADUs, or accessory dwelling units were formerly known as second units, garage conversions, mother-in-law apartments, granny flats, carriage houses, pool houses, etc.  2nd units are now referenced in building and zoning codes as ADUs.   ADUs should not be confused with Tiny Homes.  Tiny Homes are constructed on a chassis and are not financed as real estate.  Accessory Dwelling Units are built on a foundation, subject to building codes, and eligible for standard real estate financing.

Affordable Housing Associates is an open source creator of affordable, accessible Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU).  In this site, we communicate with professionals involved in the permitting and construction process.  We share resources that help develop ADUs.  We share our experience as encouragement for first timers, and as a means to grow ADU adoption within the community of builders.   Consider this site our best effort to ‘pay if forward’ in affordable housing.

“Grow Houses’ grow from small houses into Big Small Houses.   Starting small equates to fast and affordable move-in.   We prefer to start with a core structure designed for addition of porches, or building attics capable of future conversion.  Our goal is to quickly and quietly get the core structure built, inhabited and cash flowing.  From that point, and over time, the project appropriately grows larger.  That’s how a Grow House functions, bit by bit it grows from a small house to a Big Small House.  Start small, and work out and up. This is precisely the process used to grow a Big Small House.

Constructing additions can be a tricky business, especially where building permits and solar tax credits are concerned.  Grow Houses incorporate tax credit eligible dual function components, like building integrated solar additions or solar awnings.  Solar tax credits are a great tool to enhance ROI while producing energy above and shade below.  High interest rates effectively restrain return on investment (ROI).  Solar tax credits and accelerated depreciation similarly go a long way toward improving ROI.

About this site:  The Work-In-Progress section details current projects.  The Demonstration Projects details on a variety of products, processes and details to help use less, to spend less, and deliver great and durable value.   The Plan Room is where you’ll find necessary resources to get through the permitting process to a Certificate of Occupancy.  In the Blog section you’ll find discussion on a wide range of ADU related topics.

Affordable Housing Associates has completed three ADU projects in as many years, with the 1550 Barbara ADU the first to be offered for sale.  Moving forward, new Big Small House construction is anticipated in Mt. Shasta and Redding during the 2024 building season.

Thank you for your interest.

Sampling of Jeff’s Many Projects