BuzzBuzzHome Corp.

August 19, 2010

Laneway housing construction is emerging in the Metro Vancouver area as the most viable way to increase density in single family neighbourhoods in order to provide affordable housing to a rapidly growing population.

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of laneway housing before, it hasn’t gained significant popularity in other Canadian urban centres, though that may change if it’s successful in Vancouver.

Here’s a brief description of this unique form of housing via Wikipedia:

“Homes are typically built on pre-existing lots, usually in the backyard and opening onto the back lane. The introduction of this form of housing was part of an initiative by Sam Sullivan [former mayor of Vancouver] as part of the EcoDensity movement to increase the density in pre-existing neighbourhoods while retaining the single-family feel.”

This style of housing may be familiar to fans of the television series, Happy Days. The Fonz lived in a laneway house above the Cunningham’s garage.

In Metro Vancouver, Surrey and Langley Township have allowed laneway houses to be built in the communities for years and recently North Vancouver City, Maple Ridge and Coquitlam have jumped on board and permitted laneway home construction.

Coquitlam mayor, Richard Stewart recently told the Vancouver Sun that many single family homes in his suburban city were built in the 50s and 60s and at this point, they need to evolve to accomodate the growing population.

So looks like laneway housing is catching on and we could be seeing more projects popping up in other Canadian cities. Good news for all you Fonzie wannabe’s out there.

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