Vancouver Laneway Housing

John and Matthew discuss the growing popularity of laneway housing development in Vancouver and highlight a design / build project by Lanefab Design/Build.

If you enjoyed today’s Design Minute, you may also like “How to Reuse a Concrete Foundation” and “Understanding Spray Foam Insulation”.

  • Terri

    It’s been a while since we visited Vancouver during the Slow Home Project, so it was nice to revisit with the Laneway house. I appreciate the interior photos and especially like that staircase detail of overhanging treads.

  • sk

    Dear John and Matthew:
    We would love to build a laneway house. We feel like we are the perfect candidates for this. 1. We have a lane. 2. We don’t have a garage. 3. We could use some extra income. Not sure however if bylaws allow this in Kamloops, BC. Thank you for the inspirational post.

  • from Vancouver

    While laneway housing does increase density and reduce environmental impact, it does not increase affordability.  The laneway house cannot be separated (e.g. sold) apart from the main house.  It increases the value of the main house, thereby increasing its price, and making a single family house less affordable.  It does not help buyers enter the market.

  • Steve in Van

    Except that a property with a house and a laneway unit is no longer a single family property.  Like a house with a basement or MIL rental unit, rental income from the laneway unit can help offset the mortgage, which may make the purchase more affordable.   

    Alternatively, given the property now has multiple living units, more than one family can own the property together with a co-ownership agreement, sort of like a mini co-operative.  Vancity (and perhaps other FIs) offers a ‘mixer mortgage’ for exactly this purpose.  Splitting the cost among 2 or more families makes purchasing a home in Vancouver more affordable.