We’re in a housing crisis.
Our friends and relations are struggling to find available, affordable, and appropriate homes.
It’s not just stressing them out, it’s stressing our whole economy—as hospital and EMS workers, teachers, service workers, and trades struggle to find a place they can afford, and many people, especially younger generations, find themselves priced out of our larger cities.
Making matters worse, many cities have rules that forbid any other option than replacing one single-family house with another. This encourages bigger and more expensive houses, and pushes even modest, older residences out of reach for middle-income earners.
We have solutions right in front of us.
We can relegalize the carriage houses, backyard cottages, and houseplexes we used to build a century ago in existing single-family neighborhoods.
Many new apartments are on arterials and stacked high in the sky. Small housing offers a different option—they are ground-oriented homes, nested on quieter streets.
Small housing includes:
- Small lot homes
- Cottage housing
- Secondary suites
- Laneway housing
- Suites in duplexes
- Lock-off suites
- Tiny homes and
- Collective housing
This gentle density housing not only increases the supply of desperately needed homes of many shapes and sizes, it creates jobs and offers existing homeowners—not developers—a source of revenue.
The first step is to update the rules that prevent these kinds of homes from being built.
It’s time we start providing affordable choices for everyone, close to jobs, schools, and transit.