Solidify Laneway Housing Through Ownership Incentives
Developing a process that will facilitate homes with lanes to be able to subdivide back to front would solidify and incentivize the production of laneway houses, effectively doubling the density in parts of the city without breaking the small scale character of neighbourhoods. The current program allows for lane way houses to be produced with an incentive from rental income, but with current development costs and real estate market the process is not readily viable at a city-wide scale and many home owners do not see enough benefit to warrant financing such a project. However, with the incentive of being able to sell a property subdivided from one’s own, homeowners could act to invest in creating sustainable density. It will take a multi pronged approach to make subdivision towards lanes effective, but negotiating with utility providers for workable easements and providing for pedestrian and vehicle movements on lanes would allow the city to develop a whole new set of usable secondary streets. The unit density increase will facilitate better transit and other sustainable infrastructure, without sacrificing control of development to megaproject developers and large scale financing, yet also maintaining the small scale resilience of people maintaining and improving their homes as part of their community.
New options to facilitate the development of laneway homes are being considered for phase two of the laneway homes program.
Janna L. Sylvest commented
Agree, agree, agree! The City policy essentially off loads the cost of financing higher density on to the home-owner who then has to (1) capitalize expenses over a long term (expenses related to capital investment on rental property are not wholly deductible against rental income in the year advanced); (2) carry the mortgage on the laneway home cost of construction, and (3) assume the role of a landlord, requiring the navigation and compliance with tenant legislation. This is a lot to ask, and then expect the policy constraints will behave as anything other than a disincentive to laneway rental-home construction.