AMES, Iowa — Los Angeles-based urban planner and policy expert Shane Phillips will speak about the increased use of accessory dwelling units in California and their potential in Iowa as part of the Homelessness and Affordable Housing Symposium at Iowa State University.

Phillips will present “Advancing the ADU: A West Coast Comparative Perspective” at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in 0005 Physics Hall. His talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Community and Regional Planning with generous support from the Gordon Family Endowment, and by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.

“In the span of a few years, California has gone from approving virtually zero accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to permitting more than 12,000 annually,” Phillips said.

“But ADUs aren’t a new idea in the Golden State: state officials have been trying to spur increased ADU production for 40 years, engaged with obstinate local governments in an endless game of policy whack-a-mole.”

In this lecture, Phillips will explore what it took to finally make ADUs a reality in California, the key regulatory barriers to their expansion and how the lessons from West Coast cities from Vancouver to Los Angeles could be applied in Iowa.

About the speaker

Phillips currently manages the University of California, Los Angeles’ Randall Lewis Housing Initiative and teaches public policy as an adjunct instructor at the University of Southern California.

He previously served as the director of public policy for Central City Association of Los Angeles, a Downtown LA business advocacy organization, and has held roles with the Los Angeles Streetcar project and city government. He is the author of The Affordable City: Strategies for Putting Housing Within Reach (and Keeping It There) (Island Press, 2020), and he has kept  the “Better Institutions” a blog on housing and transportation issues for many years.


Daniel Kuhlmann, Community and Regional Planning, 515-294-5470, dok@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, 515-294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu