vacancy rate in our rental stock, in terms of our overall rental at 0.3 per cent,
is very, very low and unacceptable," said Coun. Raymond Louie. "People
that work in our city are having a very tough time living in our city. We are
hoping that these spaces will become more affordable and available for these people."
is a very artful way to add density to the single-family neighbourhoods,"
said Brent Toderian, the city's director of planning.
everyone loves the idea. Toderian said he heard concerns about privacy, parking
and congestion at meetings on the issue. The city only requires one parking space
for the entire lot, which could have a main house, laneway house and a basement
doubt the plan will actually increase affordability. "How much will they
be paying to rent these laneway cottages and will that be affordable? In my view,
the only affordable housing is subsidized housing and we need lots of it and we
are not getting it," said Alicia Barsallo, a member of the Coalition for
a Liveable Vancouver.
city will monitor shadows, traffic patterns, privacy and noise levels once laneways
houses are built, with an official staff report coming after the 100th house is
up, Louie said.
eligible for laneway housing must have a minimum width of 33 feet. Properties
of that size can have a 500-square-foot home, while larger properties can have
a maximum 750-square-foot laneway house.
must retain one parking space on their lot, and a 16-foot buffer between the front
of the laneway home and the back of the main house. Toderian estimates 65,000
homes would meet these requirements.
resident Robbie Stewart has been itching to build a laneway house for months.
and his partner want to downsize after their 16-year-old daughter moves out. Laneway
housing wasn't an option at first.
initially thought it was living in a garage," said Stewart, who hasn't applied
with the city yet. "We had considered moving to a condo, but the problem
is we don't like condos. We love the area we live in."
the couple saw a model laneway home built by Smallworks at the home show this
spring, they knew it was the perfect solution. The couple is making plans to convert
their dilapidated 1945 garage into a beautiful.
other homeowners are lined up to work with Smallworks, a design/build company
specializing in laneway houses. Smallworks co-owner Aaron Rosensweet said homes
generally cost from $125,000 to $175,000.
are talking about these small cottages in the backyard rather than a garage,"
Rosensweet said. "To me it's a real opportunity to beautify those lanes and
make those lanes more like our public spaces."
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