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Building laneway houses easier with bylaw changes

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Building laneway houses in Vancouver has been made easier and more cost effective with bylaw changes approved by city council.The move will help improve livability and help meet the Housing Vancouver target of providing 4,000 new laneway homes over the next 10 years.

The Laneway Housing Program has been in place since 2009, and to date more than 3,300 laneway homes have been approved across the city.

“It’s great to see city council support changes to get more laneway homes built in neighbourhoods across the city,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’ve heard loud and clear that Vancouver residents want more housing choices and laneway homes are a great option for middle-income households.”

Key benefits resulting from the change

  • Streamlining approvals for one and a half storey laneway houses by introducing an outright review process similar to the current process for one storey laneway houses.
  • Supporting more functional and flexible laneway house design by increasing allowable heights and updating the method of measuring height.
  • Improving livability by introducing minimum room size requirements
  • Providing more flexibility for the location and design of one-storey laneway houses.

Enactment of the approved changes is expected in September 2018.

“These changes are a result of consultation with the public through Housing Vancouver about housing needs, as well as focused engagement with owners and renters of laneway homes, industry engagement, and staff analysis,” says Paula Huber, senior planner. “By removing identified barriers to building a laneway home, we are making it easier and faster to build the type of housing we know people want and need.”

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