Solution to Affordable Housing ? Real – Life Anecdote
” A family that stays together lives together “
My spouse has a life – long friend, known her for 40+ years.
She grew up in a house in West Richmond, family of (5)….2 siblings.
She got married in the mid – 1980’s , had (2) daughters, but unfortunately ended – up divorced.
For various reasons, she effectively had to move back home with her daughters and live with her parents.
The original family home was a one – storey (3) bedroom rancher, built in the early 1960’s .
Her sister, single , had bought a condo in East Richmond several years previous. Her other sibling, her brother,still lived at the family home.
A few years back, we were told that they, “the family”, was going to build a new home.ie that the original family home was going to be demolished and a new modern home built on the same site..
I was quite intrigued.
We were invited to visit them one Christmas , as luckily ,while their new house was being built, directly across the street was a home available to rent. We toured the new home, close to completion , and I was quite fascinated by what I saw.
A few months later we were invited for a “house warming” and tour the completed house.
What was so fascinating ?
The new home was (2) storeys, with far more area than the original house. The layout was where the most fascination lay.
In essence, the house was literally set up like a multi – family strata, with fully self -contained living units . The upper floor was reserved for my spouses friends’ and her (2) daughters. They had their own Kitchen , bathrooms, laundry, living room and (3 )bedrooms. Her sister had sold her condo, and had approx 1/2 the lower floor, again with her own complete self contained living unit. Her parents lived in the other half of the lower floor, again in a self – contained unit. Their brother has a bedroom unit built in the garage area.
So, in essence this Single Family House has (3 ) self -contained living areas independent of each other yet under one roof. Even more intriguing is this is totally legal as the house passed City Inspection. It appears ” The Key ” is that they are all blood relations, hence the “suite ” issue is thus moot and irrelevant .
They already owned the lot, so the only cost was the construction of the building of the home. They employed a very reputable local contractor and the project progressed smoothly.
I am fully aware that this strategy is employed by some ethnic groups, but more along the line of under one roof but far less private ie many shared facilities.
Regardless, my spouses friends’ family has perhaps pioneered a far more intriguing solution to affordable housing, and non displacement from ones own home city….subject to the bylaws of the jurisdiction they live in.
The home makes excellent use of space, and makes one appreciate how much living space one really needs, as opposed to the excesses we have now. If one further reflects on it,this example has a much lower impact on the environment given that (7 ) people currently live under one roof, as well as the higher affordability factor. There are no strata fees….as again its a Detached single family home,..they simply apply their pooled resources to pay taxes, utilities etc. Or, conversely, if they all lived separately, their individual living expenses would be much MUCH higher.
I see this house having no problem on resale value, it would be snapped up in a heartbeat…for reasons outlined..(OR rental wise….very good cash flow).
Unfortunately our current society has ingrained an attitude for people to want to get away from their family ASAP , get into debt , and become slaves to debt..without doing some truly cognitive open- minded analysis.
Its this sort of personal initiative and innovation as described above that.can provide REAL solutions to the given problems.