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Affordable housing in Victoria


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#2421 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 04:32 PM

That was the assumption with the garden suites, though - make it easier to build and people will build them. I don't know about you guys but I own a house in the City of Victoria and I have neither a basement suite nor detached suite because I don't want one. It mostly negates the niceties of having a house when you fill the yard and your basement with strangers. That, and the garden suite doesn't make sense financially.

 

The problem with garden suites is they limited them to 400 sq. ft.  And not enough height to even have a sleeping loft.    If someone is going through that expense (over $500 sq. ft. construction cost) you need to let them go to 600 or 800 sq. ft.

 

560004TCD_F1_1615478603.gif

 

^ that's pretty minimalist for granny.  If they just allowed enough height for a sleeping loft you might have a young couple occupy it as a rental.  But two people in that 400 sq. ft. would drive anyone crazy.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 17 January 2022 - 04:39 PM.


#2422 LJ

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 07:44 PM

^Doesn't the Janion have 300 sq. ft. units?


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#2423 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 01:25 AM

Probably. But no granny lives there.

#2424 punk cannonballer

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 08:27 AM

The problem with garden suites is they limited them to 400 sq. ft.  

 

They allow 600 sq. ft. on plus sites, of which mine is one. 

Plus site is:

• a corner lot

• a lot with two street frontages

• a lot with rear yard laneway access

• lots greater than 557 m2 (6,000 ft2 ) in total area.

There still have not been many built on those sites. It's not the 400 sq. ft. that is the issue. 


Edited by punk cannonballer, 18 January 2022 - 08:27 AM.


#2425 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 08:33 AM

Right. I knew there were some others.

What’s the issue then? Holding numbers down? If it’s not the size.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 18 January 2022 - 08:34 AM.


#2426 punk cannonballer

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 08:53 AM

Can't really speak for others but the short of it is that it's not economically or aesthetically attractive. My lot is a standard 120 x 40, I have two kids, trampoline, vegetable garden. I like it. What am I giving up if I decide to throw what, $120-150k (probably more) at a 600 sq. ft. build? 8-10 years before I break even and I have some rando living in my back yard?

No thanks. I suspect that it's the same for others. Most existing houses aren't optimized for that arrangement. If I were building new it's a different story.


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#2427 Mattjvd

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 09:03 AM

Builders have choice here, for sure. No need to go through the municipal approvals process if all you want to do is build a giant house where an SFD formerly stood.

 

On the flip side to build a duplex, now you're going through the process. That's a big part of the politics behind introducing missing middle zoning, to get rid of the delays associated with building 2/3/4/5/6 units where formerly one was permitted without lengthy delay (barring major variance requests).

I looked into it a little more: The application/approval process is very easy for subdividing lots in Edmonton. The developer submits an application, city staff makes sure the new lots can be serviced by the city, have road access, and don't violate other by-laws (it's pretty black and white criteria). Once city staff give it the okay, the developer gets a surveyor out and the surveyor gives the exact dimensions of the new lots to the city. Staff review to make sure the actual lot boundaries are what the developer said they would be in the original application. If they are, it's done. 

 

City of Edmonton says it takes 60 days to complete the process and for residential semi-detached properties the fee is $286 per lot.


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#2428 Mike K.

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 09:53 AM

Can't really speak for others but the short of it is that it's not economically or aesthetically attractive. My lot is a standard 120 x 40, I have two kids, trampoline, vegetable garden. I like it. What am I giving up if I decide to throw what, $120-150k (probably more) at a 600 sq. ft. build? 8-10 years before I break even and I have some rando living in my back yard?

No thanks. I suspect that it's the same for others. Most existing houses aren't optimized for that arrangement. If I were building new it's a different story.

 

Probably closer to $200k now, if not $250k once all is said and done. A 100 sq. ft. basic, un-insulated, window-less custom built (non-kit) shed will cost you $20,000.

 

It's simply not worth it, 600 square feet or not. The plan was concocted by councillors stuck in a 1980s mentality who were desperately trying to do something relevant for the 2020s in the name of affordability.

 

At some point, as a politician, you have to know when it's time to step back and let others handle a city's affairs. Pam Madoff's pinnacle effort for affordability was this garden suite policy and it ended up a complete waste of City Hall's time for being tone deaf and out of step with reality (a reality punk describes). But at the time of its unveiling, of course, it was all self-congratulatory accolades for a job well done, proving density can be achieved if we all just work together and will it into reality.

 

You might get a hint of cynicism in my post, but I've spent two decades observing the plight of building housing in this city and this garden suite policy was the proverbial cherry on top.


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#2429 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 09:55 AM

It is worth it for some small segment of people.

Don’t forget that this week alone - literally this very week - hundreds of people will buy 600 square foot condos in Vancouver and Toronto and yes Victoria, for $500,000 or $600,000 or more each. Strictly as investments.

If you can build the same square footage in your back yard, for half the price and 1/4 the maintenance fees, some will do it. Few, but some. Just like few but some house owners in Victoria own other real estate investments.

Look how popular laneway houses are in Vancouver. Thousands built.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 18 January 2022 - 10:01 AM.


#2430 Mike K.

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 10:08 AM

Yes, few, and that's all good. But the way this was promoted when it was first launched was that it would deliver meaningful housing affordability.


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#2431 punk cannonballer

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 10:09 AM

Yeah that`s two separate markets and two separate and very different products though. A condo is a titled property. A garden suite is not, and its development value is ostensibly conferred primarily to the homeowner rather than the resident. The question isn't whether the built form is of value but rather the context in which it sits. Laneway houses are different still, and are larger and much more viable for housing a family.


Edited by punk cannonballer, 18 January 2022 - 10:10 AM.


#2432 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 10:21 AM

Well that’s why I said the 400 or 600 square foot was making it unviable. In California they can be 1000 plus.



Everywhere should allow up to 800 sq ft detached ADU

No matter what California jurisdiction you are in, detached ADUs can be built up to 800 square feet, as long as they are less than 16 feet high and respect 4 foot rear and side yard setbacks.

Most places allow up to 1200 sq ft detached ADU

There are something like 391 cities and counties using the state code, where an ADU can be up to 1200 square feet.

https://www.how-to-a...rnia?format=amp

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 18 January 2022 - 10:25 AM.


#2433 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 06:38 PM

Yeah that`s two separate markets and two separate and very different products though. A condo is a titled property. A garden suite is not, and its development value is ostensibly conferred primarily to the homeowner rather than the resident. The question isn't whether the built form is of value but rather the context in which it sits. Laneway houses are different still, and are larger and much more viable for housing a family.

 

Looks like Saanich only allows 1,000 sq. ft. on even the largest lots, and no basement allowed.  Lame.



#2434 Moderation

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 12:22 PM

The issue and methods to create more housing country wide.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/n...tario-1.6324869



#2435 tommy

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 06:55 PM

The issue and methods to create more housing country wide.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/n...tario-1.6324869

instead, the task force recommends that in municipalities with a population of more than 100,000, the province should "allow any type of residential housing up to four storeys and four units on a single residential lot," subject to urban design guidance that's yet to be defined.

 

luckily the CofV has yet to break the 100k mark AND "yet to be defined", no thanks!


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#2436 Moderation

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 07:27 PM

For clarification:

This is a draft report from Ontario looking at many of the housing issues facing provinces and cities.

Looks at the issues and possible methods to move forward to create more housing, relevant to Ontario and all across  the country. 

 



#2437 Mike K.

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 07:56 PM

The absurdity of Canada's sudden realization it has a lack of space for new housing, displayed for all to see in technicolor.

 

Since we love to emulate Europe so much, here's some inspiration:

 

density.jpg

 

europe.jpg


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#2438 rjag

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 07:19 AM

Don’t forget the tax implications of garden suites, gotta pay capital gains on sale as well as any rents are passive and are taxed as income. Pretty well zero chance to make these pay any type of ROI…. Hence illegal in-law suites are the preferred route

Edited by rjag, 25 January 2022 - 07:19 AM.

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#2439 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 07:22 AM

Don’t forget the tax implications of garden suites, gotta pay capital gains on sale as well as any rents are passive and are taxed as income. Pretty well zero chance to make these pay any type of ROI…. 

 

That all applies to investment condos too though.  And yet hundreds if not thousands are sold every week in Canada.  And at $800 to $1500 sq. ft.   Compared to garden suites at whatever they cost to build ($300 sq. ft.?).


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 25 January 2022 - 07:23 AM.


#2440 rjag

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 08:47 AM

That all applies to investment condos too though.  And yet hundreds if not thousands are sold every week in Canada.  And at $800 to $1500 sq. ft.   Compared to garden suites at whatever they cost to build ($300 sq. ft.?).

 

But for the average homeowner they are more likely to have an in-law suite in their house as a 'mortgage helper' which is the preferred route to help pay the bills. A separate garden suite creates a whole bunch more paperwork and based on the last 5 years, the average resident isnt interested due to either the municipal obstacle course or the tax implications or both

 

Most folks that buy investment condos are buying them for an investment or to simply park cash outside the stock market in a hard asset and understand the tax implications. I have 2 that are rented to long term tenants that I bought for about $410/ft 5+ years ago that are now selling for over $625/ft. If I sell I'll be happy to pay a cap gain on them as it means I made some money. 


Edited by rjag, 25 January 2022 - 08:49 AM.

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