Provincial

Nestled near the Elders Centre in the Tl’etinqox Community, six cabin-like homes are placed to form a circle to represent the four sacred directions, the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of life and more, and to encourage community gathering.

Tl’etinqox began to develop Elders Cabins in 2019 to honour the intentions, prayers, and needs of their Elders by providing safe and affordable living spaces for them to age in place, at the heart of the community. Elder tenancy applications opened for the cabins in September 2020.

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/

Supporting the evolution of our single-detached neighbourhoods can be daunting, so Small Housing created the Gentle Density Network as a space where local government planners can tackle these collective challenges together.

Through the Gentle Density Webinar library, you can dive deep into the world of gentle density housing with insights from top experts from government, industry, and community sectors.

Explore cutting-edge practices, unpack emerging trends, and stay ahead of the curve with the latest gentle density insights. You can access the full library of webinars here, and can sign up to the Gentle Density Network here so as to stay informed on upcoming events.

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:

Single-family zones – which cover three-quarters of residential areas in many Northern American cities – can produce harmful side effects such as inflated land values, racial and economic segregation, and urban sprawl. In response, many communities are looking at ways to introduce “missing middle” housing into existing single-family neighbourhoods.

One of the most notable reforms in recent years was the Minneapolis 2040 Plan, implemented at the beginning of 2020. Housing policies in the plan made headlines as it meant Minneapolis became the first major city in the US or Canada to abolish single family- zoning, allowing duplexes and triplexes to be built on most residential blocks. The Plan also included several provisions related to denser housing, including eliminating parking requirements and upzoning transit corridors and downtown areas.

This Small Housing Case Study shares key details of the Plan, its impact to date, and what other communities can learn from it.

Key insights:

This guide paper addresses the ownership and operations of gentle density housing in British Columbia. It was created in collaboration with industry experts and includes key recommendations to remove barriers that reduce the viability and uptake of gentle density housing.

The actionable recommendations contained in this guide paper provide specific and clear direction to the responsible parties on how they can support the removal of barriers and enhance the viability of gentle density projects for the homeowner-developer in British Columbia.

Supporting and incentivizing homeowner-developer-led projects is, in the opinion of the roundtable, the most likely model to succeed at implementation at scale, while putting community and affordability first.

Key insights:

This Small Housing guidance paper presents research findings from interviews, focus groups and a multi-stakeholder roundtable, including the participation of industry experts, building officials and key government representatives to unpack current barriers to adoption and explore approaches to accelerating the use of offsite construction to grow gentle density supply.

This guidance paper provides background information, identifies key barriers and offers recommendations in seven areas:

  1. Government Initiatives
  2. Industry Collaboration and Knowledge Building
  3. Municipal Toolkits for Offsite-Ready Local Governments
  4. Offsite-Ready Construction Financing
  5. Pilot Studies for Modular Streamlining
  6. Standard Design Catalog and Design Competition
  7. Enterprise Zone Incentives

Key insights:

This Small Housing Guidance Paper presents recommendations that will assist various actors involved in planning, designing and constructing energy efficient buildings, especially as it relates to new gentle density development.

It provides background information and identifies challenges and recommendations in eight key areas:

  1. Building industry productivity and collaboration
  2. Expertise gap in building sector
  3. Training and skills development
  4. Standardization and process improvement
  5. Challenges with legislation and bylaws
  6. Focus on embodied carbon
  7. Energy modeling and verification
  8. Infrastructure and utilities

Key insights: Explore a comprehensive overview of details and technical resources to support the implementation of Bill 35 – Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act, Bill 44 – Housing Statutes (Residential Development) Amendment Act and Bill 47 – Housing Statutes (Transit-Oriented Areas) Amendment Act that have been provided to local governments by the Provincial Government of BC Housing.

Resources include:

  • Key timelines for local planners
  • What to know about the regulations and policy manuals, including details on Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing Provincial Policy Manual and Site Standards
  • Summary slides about the regulations and policy manuals

The Association of Bay Area Governments, based out of San Francisco, California, has developed a series of useful resources to support local planners in their communication efforts in advocating for the adoption and delivery of Gentle Density Housing. These include videos, presentations, and simple “fast fact” style messaging guidelines.

Key resources include:

Please note: While the resources listed here are free to download, some of the resources contained within the website’s library are behind member/pay walls.