The prices of properties in Vancouver have been climbing at a rapid rate. One of the concerns that this causes is that of the younger generation that is growing up today. Many young people will want to move out from home without traveling too far from their parents. With the high housing prices in the Vancouver area, the younger generation will struggle to purchase homes that are in the communities that they have grown up in. One couple has created a model that could be the solution to this, at least in the more suburban areas surrounding Vancouver.
This couple is Kathleen Higgins and her husband John, who is an architect. They live in North Delta, and recently gained approval from Delta Council or a revolutionary new housing model. This housing model allows adult children to stay near their parents at an affordable price. The couple’s plan involves subdividing their 66-by-100-foot property into two 33-foot lots.
The lot currently accommodates a 4-year-old rancher, but when this plan goes into action, this will all change. The rancher will be replaced with two new duplexes on each of the smaller lots. Of the four dwellings, one would be occupied by the couple, and the other three will be bought by their two adult sons, and/or other homebuyers.
Kathleen and John Higgins first began working on this model seven years ago. They noticed that when old ranchers such as their own were sold, developers would demolish the property and build much larger homes on the land. These homes had very large price tags, and were out of reach for a number of young people.
The Higginses strongly believe that this new model they have created is a brilliant rezoning effort that could help others seeking affordable housing in the Lower Mainland. This model will be applicable in suburban areas, but it may not work in the city of Vancouver.
This is because there is no evidence that shows that within the city of Vancouver, subdivision and compact dwelling units lead to a truly affordable housing option. The issue here is the high cost of land. Take the West Side for example. There, even properties that feature tear downs tend to command around $2 million. This means that a cluster of small houses on any lot, even subdivided, would still be fairly pricey, even if this cluster would be more affordable than a single big house.
Also, many people who live in the city of Vancouver are not big fans of this densification. The city of Vancouver allows three residences to exist on lots zoned for single-family housing. These residences would include a basement suite and a lane way house. The residences, however are for renting rather than for sale. The Higginses plan could definitely take hold in less costly areas, however, such as North Delta. Kathleen and John Higgins have created a new model that will help suburban young adults live on their own while remaining close to home and spending a pretty penny.