Accessory Dwelling Unit financing update: local portfolio lenders making construction loans for ADUs

Our work with banks like Washington Federal is covered by Daily Journal of Commerce.

An Accessory Dwelling Unit boom has begun in Portland.  Since the City lifted system development charges and other ADU development barriers in April, we’ve seen demand for the housing type take off.  See “Can Granny Flats Save the World?” for more about what makes ADUs such a Portland-appropriate development type.

But the outstanding question has been, “how do we finance these things?”

It turns out, local, mission-driven, portfolio-based lenders are providing the answer.  Banks like Washington Federal and Unitus have a natural interest in local economic development and don’t need to shop their loans on some faceless secondary market.  They can make their own assessment of risk and reward and hold on to loans as part of their ongoing portfolio.  Recognizing the value and benefits of ADUs, these institutions are beginning to make remodel construction loans to finance ADU projects.  The big national and multinational banks?  Not so much.

The Daily Journal of Commerce covered this development in the ADU financing picture in an article yesterday entitled “Portland ADUs booming, but financing stinks”.  (Good article, but misleading headline if you ask me … financing from the biggie banks may stink, but the picture among the locals is decidedly more encouraging.)  The article focuses on Hammer & Hand’s experience tracking down lenders and features a photo (below) of a Hammer & Hand ADU currently underway in NE Portland, designed by Departure Design.  Check out the DJC article.  Meanwhile, let the ADU boom roll on!


Here’s that photo of our ADU project featured in the DJC article (by Dan Carter, DJC)…

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