The City of Vancouver has a new plan for tackling its housing affordability crisis: more laneway and coach houses.

This week, Mayor Gregor Robertson announced the city would consider allowing for different kinds of housing in low-density areas of Vancouver previously dominated by single-family houses.

A report going to council next week will propose incentives for homeowners in pre-1940s character homes to densify their single-family lots with coach houses, duplexes and laneway homes, for rental and ownership.

Robertson’s new proposed regulations would allow for the building of coach houses and other stratified units in single-family-zoned neighbourhoods like Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Arbutus Ridge — as long as neighbourhood character is maintained.

According to a poll conducted by the Vancouver Sun, almost 70% of Vancouverites support such a plan. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver just hit $2,090 a month.

Robertson said the goal is to create new units for both rental and ownership in traditionally low-density neighbourhoods and that the proposal would affect about 12,000 character homes.

The full proposal will be presented to city council on Tuesday.

Last modified: July 21, 2017

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