Vancouver’s first laneway suites not for the poor of pocket – Metro US

Vancouver’s first laneway suites not for the poor of pocket

Vancouver’s first laneway house built under a new city initiative was scooped by renters for $1,700 per month after it was on the market for a mere five days.

Proponents of laneway housing claim it will transform the city over the long term. But some housing advocates say the benefits won’t trickle down to the city’s poor.

“It’s going to be high-end rental,” said designer Bryn Davidson, who, with builder Mat Turner, finished the cleanup of the suite yesterday. “It’s brand new. It’s a free-standing building with its own appliances. It has its own outdoors space and its own address.”

Keys for the stylish, eco-conscious 710-square-foot two-storey East Vancouver suite will be turned over to renters this evening. A two-day open house attracted more than 1,000 people in early May.

Rider Cooey, a spokesman with Citywide Housing Coalition, said laneway housing is a critical piece of affordable housing, but one that will benefit only people with money.

Coun. Suzanne Anton, a proponent of laneway housing, said although the initiative will slowly increase supply, rental affordability wasn’t necessarily the main goal of the initiative.

Rather, she said, it gives homeowners flexibility — a home for their grown children, or their aging parents, or as a mortgage helper.