Low-Rent Mansion Living? Vancouver Renters Form Groups and Split Giant Properties

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Image:  Terence Faircloth

Image: Terence Faircloth

It’s hard to find an affordable home in Vancouver, whether you’re a renter or a buyer. Vancouver was just ranked the second-most unaffordable city in the world to live in, according to a survey from Demographia. But necessity drives invention. The solution these renters came up with is pretty cool.

Groups of young creatives, according to this piece in The Tyee, are splitting the rent on vacant mega mansions owned by absentee landlords. The example they provided was a 7,500-square-foot, six-bedroom Spanish-style mansion in South Vancouver, built in 1931 on nearly an acre of land overlooking the Fraser River. It’s valued at $5,063,000. The folks renting it are paying an average of $750 a head and getting a higher standard of living than they would have in the Vancouver apartment rental market. The downsides to collective mansion life: lack of privacy and Vancouver’s bylaws that allow no more than five unrelated adults to share a house zoned as a “RS-1,” a one-family dwelling.

While Vancouver bylaws might not change anytime soon, San Francisco is encouraging the movement by building grand co-living projects in high-rent areas.

Would you co-live in a Kitsilano mansion with other adults? Why or why not?

Last modified: January 24, 2015

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