WebStamp September 20, 2023
Solving the Affordable Housing Crisis
With the state of the current economy of high inflation and a continuing recession, many are experiencing difficulty finding affordable housing. Currently, the social norm is to build homes for the upper middle class and the elite to generate excessive profit. People are encouraged to purchase or rent these larger-than-needed luxuriously equipped separate individual family homes. High inflation has priced finding an affordable home unattainable for many. In most major cities in Canada, many of these larger homes are being divided into 2, 3, 4, or more individual tiny units for more affordable housing. These properties share facilities, outdoor space, and even can include maintenance.
Derek Lobo, founder and CEO of SVN Rock Advisors Inc., came to recognize solving the affordable housing crisis is a huge multi-faceted problem with no single solution. He proposes using a wide range of housing types which includes duplexes, fourplexes, courtyard housing, and live-work buildings classified as the “missing middle housing”. These Missing Middle homes are not existent because they have typically been illegal to build since the mid-1940s with the housing industry concerned about profit and not sustainability.
The Missing Middle sits between detached single-family homes and mid-rise to high-rise apartment buildings and is designed for affordability with form and scale as well as the number of units required for society's needs. Derek particularly likes the mini vertical village — a walk-up fourplex built to allow for privacy as well as commonality and community. With the lack of affordable housing, the Missing Middle has lately seen a re-emergence.
Today young people are living longer with their parents attempting to save for their own home, sometimes even after they are married. Inter-generational families living together is an opportunity where the parents of millennials who cannot purchase a home independently. It also provides the ability to raise their children close to grandparents helping to save daycare and baby-sitting costs. The Indian families have encouraged a mini-boom in homes in Calgary expressly built for multigenerational living, as many of these families have lived that way in India.
Multi-generational living could also include a complex where each family would have their private living quarters with living/sleeping areas, a kitchenette and a bathroom. This New Concept of Affordable Sustainable Housing would also include common facilities such as a community kitchen, dining and living areas, shared laundry facilities, gardens and workshop(s). These properties would also allow for the sharing of resources such as outdoor equipment, indoor appliances, tools, and even maintenance. ecoTHRIVE Housing develops this concept by building socially resilient, ecologically sustainable, cooperatively-owned community villages.
The benefits of such a micro eco-system not only brings financial stability with the sharing of expenses but also increase social connectedness, cohesion and participation. 98% of Americans living in a multigenerational home say their household functions successfully. Enhanced bonds or relationships among family members, positive impacts on personal mental and/or physical health, and making it easier to provide for the care needs of one or more family members are some of the benefits.
It is time to establish more community-based housing where the local neighbourhood becomes an extended family. Higher-density cooperative residential have less maintenance and upkeep with the communal duties shared by the homeowners. Become part of the Movement and Make A Difference in the way we build our future.
Articles in this Issue
WebStamp September 20, 2023
Vertical villages can help solve affordable housing crisis -Derek Lobo, Real Estate News EXchange
Calgary Housing Company adds 163-unit East Village building to affordable housing supply -Yolande Cole, Calgary Herald
The Resilient Village ecoTHRIVE Housing
Bloc10: Unique Prefab Condos Showcase Sustainably Sourced Wood in Winnipeg -Bridgette Meinhold, INHABITIAT
Multigenerational homes are taking off in Calgary -Ellis Choe CBC News