Exploring Gentle Density Supply & Housing Affordability [Video]

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Local governments continue to face challenges with respect to housing supply and affordability. Gentle density infill housing strategies provide a promising way to increase housing supply in already built areas, but the question of affordability still remains.

To address this challenge, James Moore (City of Kelowna) and Matt Thomson (Urban Matters) joined Small Housing in April 2023, to share their insights with the Gentle Density Network on how the City of Kelowna has approached its efforts to increase gentle density supply and affordability.

The webinar also discusses Small Housing’s Guidance Paper (2023) that explores existing and emerging tools for local governments to increase the supply of gentle density and enhance its affordability.

Key findings:

  • Gentle density housing is more attainable than single-detached homes due to shared land costs, smaller square footage per unit, and shared building surfaces.
  • The local government tools listed can make it easier to build this form of housing, and can help to bring down the costs of development. This, in turn, will help to incentivize the production of new supply. As more supply comes online, housing prices cool.
  • If local governments stack the tools (and their related cost reductions), they may be able to create sufficient incentives to make the inclusion of below-market units viable within a development.
  • There are additional tools that can be leveraged by community partners, such as non-profits, lenders, and other levels of government, that can further support the creation of new and affordable gentle density homes.