Vancouver is known around the globe as one of the most livable cities in the world. This is great, but it also makes it one of the most unaffordable cities in the world. This is where laneway housing steps in to fill the void. It creates "hidden" density in some of Vancouver's most desirable single family neighbourhoods and provides an opportunity for badly needed rental units.
Laneway houses are essentially tiny single family homes ranging in size from 500 square feet up to 1,000 square feet that are built in your back yard. They cannot be subdivided or sold seperately from the main house. They can only be used for additional family members or for rental income.
Affordable housing is a big topic with the municipal elections around the corner. To give credit where it is due, Gregor Robertson did a great job coining laneway housing as a part of his "Eco-Density Initiative". This form of housing is meant to "help reduce the city's carbon footprint, expand housing choices, and ensure Vancouver remains one of the most liveable cities in the world."
Here are four reasons why laneway housing makes sense:
1) They add hidden density to single family neighbourhoods
2) They're Green
3) They provide a new form of housing for those that can't afford Vancouver's expensive house prices
4) They are visually appealing and very livable
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