Blog by Andrew Peck

<< back to article list

Friends close by – the Golden Girls revisited

Friends close by – the Golden Girls revisited

Collective housing – where a home owner rents rooms or where a group of friends or even strangers rent a home together, is increasingly popular.

How popular? 

A new study by Square One Insurance Services finds 43 per cent of Vancouver home owners now rent part of their home.

Renters aren't just students trying to cut costs. Instead, this type of living arrangement also benefits seniors helping them to retain independence with friends not just close by but in the same home.

"During the past 20 years (1995-2015), the population of residents age 65 and older in Metro Vancouver has increased by 75.5% from 215,498 to 378,264," said Kate Mancer, owner of Lumina Services, a company specializing in seniors’ housing. "We can expect to see more types of collective housing."

In Vancouver, this arrangement is legal under Section 10 of the Zoning and Development Bylaw if no more than five unrelated individuals live in or rent a property together. 

This includes one family and two boarders or lodgers (Section 10.21.1). The City defines a family as:

(a) one or more individuals all related to one another by blood, marriage, or adoption or

(b) a maximum of three unrelated individuals living together as a household.

In a city where the top problem is loneliness, followed by a lack of affordable housing, this could become a great solution.

Each municipality has different bylaws so check with your local City Hall. 

Lower Mainland home owners renting a portion of their home (%)

Burnaby

40%

Coquitlam

29%

Delta

18%

Langley

24%

New Westminster

27%

North Vancouver

28%

Richmond

8%

Surrey

31%

Vancouver

43%

West Vancouver

19%

Source: Square One Insurance Services

Is our housing market at risk?

May 31st, 2017
Is our housing market at risk? Today, the International Monetary Fund reported that Canadian households are highly indebted and housing affordability, particularly in Vancouver and Toron...Click here to read more detail about 'Is our housing market at risk?'

Moving towards a National Housing Strategy

May 1st, 2017
Moving towards a National Housing Strategy The Canadian Real Estate Association and its member real estate boards and associations across Canada have long advocated for better access to ...Click here to read more detail about 'Moving towards a National Housing Strategy'

What are the key challenges we face as a profession?

February 18th, 2016
What are the key challenges we face as a profession? If someone were to ask me what one characteristic Realtors® share, I'd say - adaptability.  Take a minute and think about i...Click here to read more detail about 'What are the key challenges we face as a profession?'

Will a luxury or speculation tax create more affordable housing?

February 2nd, 2016
Will a luxury or speculation tax create more affordable housing? In the last month, both the Mayor of Vancouver and economists from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser Un...Click here to read more detail about 'Will a luxury or speculation tax create more affordable housing?'