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Number of laneway houses in Vancouver continues to grow

A Vancouver laneway house under construction on Knight St. in Vancouver October 29, 2010. .
A Vancouver laneway house under construction on Knight St. in Vancouver October 29, 2010. . CP Images

The number of laneway houses in Vancouver is growing as the city works to provide more rental housing solutions for residents.

Last year, 348 permits were issued for laneway houses, just two shy of last year’s record 350 permits.

The city is hoping the new units will help ease rental demand. With more than 50 per cent of Vancouverites either choosing, or forced to rent, there is no sign the market is slowing down.

The houses are required to be rentals and cannot be run by a strata corporation.

City councillor Geoff Meggs said the number of laneway houses will continue to grow.

“We haven’t set a cap on the number of laneway houses that are appropriate, but I know staff are watching closely to make sure the neighbourhood impacts are positive,” he said.

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“I know changes were made just over a year ago to reduce the height of some of them to make sure they don’t overlook neighbours, there is always concerns about parking, but those problems seem to be manageable and this seems to be a very popular program.”

Since launching the laneway housing program in 2009, the City of Vancouver has issued more than 1,000 permits for the mini, detached houses, which usually range from 500 to 1,200 square feet and rent from around $1,000 to $2,500 depending on size and area.