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ReHousing is a pioneering research initiative focused on converting single-family homes into multi-unit housing. Their approach emphasizes affordable, common-sense design to create high-quality, well-designed living spaces. Explore more about their work on their profile page on the Gentle Density Toolbox.

ReHousing leads numerous innovative projects, including a design catalogue featuring cost-effective, gentle density designs. This catalogue offers unique insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by various house configurations and lot sizes.

The designs in this catalogue have been categorized based on the relative cost and complexity of construction. Each design is mindful of future phasing, so you can move from one level to the next without having to redo work that you have already done. Each drawing represents one of the thirteen common house types found throughout Toronto, where ReHousing is based.

The full catalogue can be accessed here.

As Vancouver grows and evolves, we need to ensure that there are housing options that meet the needs of the diverse households that live and work here, including more “missing middle” housing options. With the help of Quickviz, the City of Vancouver developed this useful video that illustrates the changes proposed to allow more of this type housing in low density neighbourhoods across the city as part of the implementation of the Vancouver Plan. The animation depicts a standard block with a variety of housing options, including multiplexes (buildings with up to 6 units on a single lot).


As Vancouver grows and evolves, we need to ensure that there are housing options that meet the needs of the diverse households that live and work here, including more “missing middle” housing. With the help of Uytae Lee from About Here, the City of Vancouver explains what the “missing middle” is, and why they are exploring changes to allow more of this type of housing, including multiplexes (buildings with up to 6 units on a single lot), in low density neighbourhoods across the city as part of the implementation of the Vancouver Plan.

The City of Mississauga is offering free pre-approved plans for one-bedroom and studio garden suites.

As Small Housing holds, design flexibility is crucial for the financial viability of gentle density housing projects. It also ensures a variety of housing forms to better meet the diverse needs of our communities.

Offering pre-approved plans is an important step in progressing gentle density ambitions, making it easier for homeowners to build a detached unit on their property. You can explore the full suite of Mississauga’s resources on their dedicated page.

Discover organizations from across Canada, and the rest of the world, who are contributing towards the gentle density movement and the delivery of homes that people want, need & deserve.

Name: ReHousing

About: ReHousing is a research initiative that explores how to convert single-family homes into multi-unit housing, using affordable, common-sense design to yield high-quality, well-designed space.

ReHousing is a collaboration between the University of Toronto, Tuf Lab and LGA Architectural Partners. This partnership brings together structured design research methods with practice-based knowledge to address real-world problems.

For more information: https://rehousing.ca/

Key insights:

In November of 2023, the province of British Columbia released their “Homes for People Plan” that drastically reduced zoning and municipal barriers to the creation of gentle density homes. In summary, new legislation requires all local governments in British Columbia to update their zoning bylaws to allow up to three to four units in all single-family zones and up to six units for properties with frequent bus service.

This resource, developed by the province, is intended to help local governments and their community members understand the legislative changes introduced related to small-scale, multi-unit housing (SSMUH).

Note: The information in this tool kit is for guidance only and is not a substitute for provincial
legislation. It is not legal advice and should not be relied on for that purpose.

Key insights:

Close is an innovative tool that maps walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly neighborhoods block by block across the entire US. It is a useful travel time map for people who want to be near the amenities that matter most to them.

On it, users can filter by access to amenities like grocery stores, schools, doctors’ offices, and coffee shops.

Close is built and maintained by Henry Spatial Analysis. For full access to the map, click here.

Key insights:

The United States foreign-born population has quadrupled since the 1960s. In 2021, one in seven US households were headed by a foreign-born resident. Around half of these foreign-born residents have naturalized as citizens. Foreign-born residents comprise a growing share of the United States housing market: research projects that foreign-born households will become the primary source of new housing demand by 2040.

This literature review synthesizes previous research on the key barriers to and strengths of immigrants in becoming homeowners.

This report was authored by Sharon Cornelissen and Livesey Pack.

Key insights:

Manufactured housing holds promise as an affordable form of housing that could expand homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households.

This report, from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, reviews the available literature to assess the principal barriers to greater adoption of manufactured housing, including:

  • lingering negative perceptions of the quality of the homes despite notable improvements in quality over time;
  • zoning and other land use regulations that limit the ability to site these homes in many communities;
  • market conditions that erode the cost advantage of manufactured homes; the unique nature of the supply chain for these homes that makes it difficult for consumers to obtain homes in many urban areas;
  • and limits on access to affordable financing.

This report was authored by Christoper Herbert, Alexander Hermann, Daniel McCue & Chadwick Reed.

Discover organizations from across Canada & internationally who are contributing towards the gentle density movement and the delivery of homes that people want, need & deserve.

About: The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies strives to improve equitable access to decent, affordable homes in thriving communities.

The organisation conducts rigorous research to advance policy and practice, and brings together diverse stakeholders to spark new ideas for addressing housing challenges. Through teaching and fellowships, they strive to mentor and inspire the next generation of housing leaders.

For more information: Head to the JCHS website.