Monday, April 18, 2016

12 New Affordable Housing Ideas SFU Lecture April 6, 2016

While many of my colleagues hate public speaking, I enjoy it. More importantly, I enjoy sharing ideas, especially about housing. 

Over the years, while working for CMHC, and subsequently as President of UDI, the SFU Community Trust, and principal of my own firm, I was often invited to give talks about planning and affordable housing.

In 2011 I created a holiday greeting card offering 12 affordable housing ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas. This morphed into a 2015 SFU Continuing Studies lecture. Inspired by the response, I decided to present another lecture this year, summarizing last year's ideas, and offering 12 more ideas.  You can watch this year's presentation on-line; however, if like me, you'd rather not, below are the 24 affordable housing ideas I have presented over the past 2 years:

2016 Presentation
  1. Controls on foreign investment; taxation of vacant units
  2.  more affordable detached housing choices: subdividing corner lots; selling laneway housing; heritage conservation and infill housing;
  3. other forms of infill housing: Seattle 'four-packs';  a new Vancouver Special; 
  4. regenerating older public and social housing projects
  5. mix housing and industrial development without losing industrial lands
  6. expanded application of modular housing
  7. laneway apartments
  8. housing on rooftops
  9. housing on/in/over public assets including roads, railway ROWs, water
  10. co-housing and co-living
  11. 'supply-side' vs 'demand-side' subsidies and inclusionary zoning
  12.  planning within an overall zoning framework: the need for city plan and new approaches to financing growth.
2015 Presentation;jsessionid=0817CF8BC10F416FB6C84E935171AED9
  1. making things smaller: smaller houses on smaller lots; micro suites
  2. laneway and coach houses
  3. zero-lot line housing (eliminating unused side yards, front yardmixs and even rear yards)
  4. duplexes and semi-detached housing
  5. sensitive infill housing (replacing single family houses with three homes for sale, etc.)
  6. 'fee-simple' row housing (individually owned units, rather than being part of a condominium)
  7. creating more rental housing (including small apartment buildings and adding to existing rental buildings and complexes)
  8. stacked townhouses (so popular around the world, but not so much in Vancouver)
  9. alternative forms of construction, including 6 storey wood frame and modular housing
  10. flexible housing including 'lock-off suites' and one bedroom apartments that convert to 2 bedrooms;
  11. alternative financing including Shared Equity and Life-lease ownership
  12. creative partnerships

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