Laneway houses are a recent Vancouver City Hall rezoning. They permit the homeowner to build a free standing structure at the back of their lot, where the garage would have been. Some Vancouver homeowners rent out the laneway house, some let their adult children live in them, some use them for family to stay in and some elderly homeowners move into the laneway house and let their kids move into the big house.
Laneway houses are easy to rent, given that the vacancy rate in Vancouver is less than 2% and rents will be a minimum of $1200 per month. They are usually 2 storeys and 2 bedrooms, ranging from 550sf. Sometimes they are built above the garage and sometimes they take the place of the garage.
Pretty much the entire City of Vancouver is zoned for laneway housing, if your lot is zoned as a single family home.
To date the City has issued about 1,000 permits for laneway houses. View the criteria
Homeowners can obtain mortgage financing for the full cost of construction at a discounted rate.
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