LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a motion Friday to eliminate additional obstacles in the process of converting unpermitted structures such as a garage into a legal accessory dwelling unit, which would ensure more access to affordable housing in the city.

Under the current process, the city requires any unpermitted or illegal ADUs that were converted into a residential unit to first be issued a Certificate of Occupancy before the applicant undergoes the process of converting their units into a legal ADUs. To receive a Certificate of Occupancy, an applicant must return the residential unit to its original state.

According to a motion, presented by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, that additional step deters property owners from pursuing legalization of their ADUs because it is time and cost prohibitive. The motion will temporarily waive that step in exchange for dedicating the resulting units as affordable housing units.

“Los Angeles is experiencing a severe housing crisis, and we need to continue to do everything in our power to provide relief for our communities and utilize existing ADUs for housing stock,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “What I proposed will cut the red tape and encourage residents to come forward and convert unpermitted units into legal ADUs, bringing the ADUs up to code for the health and safety of its residence.”

The motion further instructs the city attorney, in consultation with the Department of Building and Safety, to identify and report on the proper mechanism and documentation necessary to waive the requirement of a Certificate of Occupancy and report back with recommendation on how to implement a citywide ordinance to effectuate an amnesty program for legalizing unpermitted ADUs and designating those units as affordable housing.