Small Housing Case Study: Housing Choices Program

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Key insights:

The City of Burnaby is steadily growing, with a population increase between 2016 and 2021 of 7%. The City allows for in-law suites and secondary suites in single family dwellings, secondary suites in duplexes, and laneway homes. Demand for secondary suites has been quite strong in Burnaby due to the strong family ties within resident families and other housing factors.

This demand resulted in up to 5,000 unauthorized secondary suites being created to 2014.

As this Small Housing Case Study details, a policy to support authorized secondary suites was adopted in 2014 in order to start keeping track of the units and ensure compliant construction for safety. Now there are close to 1,800 permitted suites and an estimated additional 4,000+ suites unpermitted as tracked by the declaration form.

More recently the City has introduced a program called Housing Choices, to explore and encourage housing options in the city to bridge the gap between single family homes and apartments/condos.