Laneway house on West 33rd Ave. Vancouver (Credit: Smallworks)
Lives change, needs change, and housing markets change. Housing options should change too.
Jake Fry of Smallworks, a company that builds laneway homes in Vancouver, writes, “It seems to me that if we want to be smart about managing change, we need to create more options that allow large older homes to be transformed into multiple dwellings, we need to infill large lots with smaller accessory dwellings—like laneway homes and other small infill dwellings, and we need to encourage smaller homes that make more efficient use of land with more affordable housing types. We also must discourage the demolition and replacement of old homes with larger, expensive single-family homes.”
Smallworks is doing just that. The laneway homes it builds are infill projects that meet the housing needs of what Fry calls “both ends of the market.” At 1,000 square feet or so, these homes allow empty-nesters and seniors to scale down but continue to live in the neighbourhoods they love. At the other end, young families who can’t afford a single-family house and lot in Vancouver’s hot housing market can experience the benefits of a detached home in a residential neighbourhood via laneway housing. Often, both ends of the market will live on the same lot, and who lives in the main house and who lives in the laneway house may switch in time.
Read more about Smallwork’s laneway houses and Fry’s work to advance laneway housing in Vancouver in “Home Is Where the Laneway House Is,” in the Fall 2015 issue of Input, page 14.
More information about Smallworks
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