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