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Affordability & Choice Today

Intensification, Renewal and Redevelopment

These projects deal with revitalization and intensification within existing neighbourhoods and renovation, conversion and redevelopment of residential and non-residential building stock to meet housing needs.

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    Use of Second Floors and Vacant Lots Downtown

    (Available in original language only) Fondation Rues principales  carried out a broad review of initiatives undertaken in Belgium, France, the United States and Canada aimed at encouraging owners of properties with vacant floors or vacant lots to renovate or redevelop them. 
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    Use of Second Floors and Vacant Lots Downtown

    (Available in original language only) Fondation Rues principales  carried out a broad review of initiatives undertaken in Belgium, France, the United States and Canada aimed at encouraging owners of properties with vacant floors or vacant lots to renovate or redevelop them.
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    The City of Vancouver Introduces Laneway Housing

    "Laneway housing" refers to a smaller house or cottage that is ancillary to a principal house and is typically located in the rear yard and oriented towards the lane. After a wide consultation process, the City of Vancouver adopted the EcoDensity Charter outlining how density, design, and land use can contribute to environmental sustainability, affordability, and livability. 
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    Livable Lanes: A Study of Laneway Infill Housing in Vancouver and Other Growing B.C. Communities

    "Laneway housing" refers to a smaller house or cottage that is ancillary to a principal house and is typically located in the rear yard and oriented towards the lane. After a wide consultation process, the City of Vancouver adopted the EcoDensity Charter outlining how density, design, and land use can contribute to environmental sustainability, affordability, and livability. 
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    Flex-Plex Housing: Industry-Municipal Partnership for Innovation

    CHBA-Victoria received an ACT grant to work with the District of Saanich and BC Housing to create regulatory changes that would help improve housing affordability. This project introduced a five townhouses with three secondary suites on a triangular lot that was zoned for single family units. The units were designed to be accessible for disabled occupants and included age-in-place features, such as closets that could be transformed into chair lifts. This is an example of how single-family zoning in the right location can be changed to accommodate multiple families, students, seniors and disabled.
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    Flex-Plex Housing Affordability Project

    CHBA-Victoria received an ACT grant to work with the District of Saanich and BC Housing to create regulatory changes that would help improve housing affordability. This project introduced a five townhouses with three secondary suites on a triangular lot that was zoned for single family units. The units were designed to be accessible for disabled occupants and included age-in-place features, such as closets that could be transformed into chair lifts. This is an example of how single-family zoning in the right location can be changed to accommodate multiple families, students, seniors and disabled.
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    Developing Laneway Housing

    Numerous Canadian municipalities have small remnant, often derelict, back lane properties which could be used for dozens, if not hundreds, of laneway housing sites. Such housing can rarely, if ever, comply with existing regulations relating to setbacks, parking, percentage of landscaped area and so on. The project documented existing Toronto laneway dwellings as examples and created prototype laneway house designs for four types of laneway lots- corner, island, key and slot-typically found in a city like Toronto.
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    Recycling Former Military Housing into Affordable Homeownership

    The close working relationship Habitat for Humanity Northumberland established with the Town of Cobourg proved essential for the successful purchase and rehabilitation of former military housing at a greatly reduced cost. The municipality's collaboration resulted in significant savings of about $1.3 million.
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    Reusing Industrial Sites for Residential Development: A Municipal Review Procedure

    Many municipalities have older unused industrial sites and buildings that are centrally located and ideal for redevelopment as housing.  The City of Windsor and the University of Windsor developed an analytical tool, procedures and draft policies for mid-sized municipalities to use in reviewing conversion applications.
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    Reusing Industrial Sites for Residential Development: A Municipal Planning Review Procedure

    Many municipalities have older unused industrial sites and buildings that are centrally located and ideal for redevelopment as housing.  The City of Windsor and the University of Windsor developed an analytical tool, procedures and draft policies for mid-sized municipalities to use in reviewing conversion applications.
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    Financing Conversion of an Institutional Building to Affordable, Accessible Apartments

    In September 1996, York Region hired a consultant to review the feasibility and cost effectiveness of redeveloping an underutilized long-term care facility to residential use. At a capital cost of $8.4 million, the Region completely renovated and converted the 5,990 m2 (64,500 sq ft) building, now called Armitage Gardens, to create 52 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments.
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    Downtown Residential Conversion

    The City of Nanaimo created a regulatory environment and financial incentives to facilitate residential conversion in the city's downtown commercial core. The project has been instrumental in breaking down barriers to downtown housing development and has launched an incentive program for heritage buildings.
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    Conversion of an Existing Institutional Building to 58 Affordable/Accessible Housing Apartments for Seniors and Disabled Adults

    In September 1996, York Region hired a consultant to review the feasibility and cost effectiveness of redeveloping an underutilized long-term care facility to residential use. At a capital cost of $8.4 million, the Region completely renovated and converted the 5,990 m2 (64,500 sq ft) building, now called Armitage Gardens, to create 52 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments. 
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    Downtown Residential Conversion: Constraints And Opportunities

    The City of Nanaimo created a regulatory environment and financial incentives to facilitate residential conversion in the city's downtown commercial core. The project has been instrumental in breaking down barriers to downtown housing development and has launched an incentive program for heritage buildings.
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    A Study Of Laneway Housing

    Numerous Canadian municipalities have small remnant, often derelict, back lane properties which could be used for dozens, if not hundreds, of laneway housing sites. Such housing can rarely, if ever, comply with existing regulations relating to setbacks, parking, percentage of landscaped area and so on. The project documented existing Toronto laneway dwellings as examples and created prototype laneway house designs for four types of laneway lots- corner, island, key and slot-typically found in a city like Toronto.
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    Creighton/Gerrish: Affordable Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal Demonstration Project

    Based on a consultant's report, it was concluded that a single demonstration project was unlikely to kick-start widespread neighbourhood rejuvenation. A strategic, not a piecemeal effort, was needed to redevelop the target area. The resulting plan called for redevelopment of a block in five distinct phases.
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    Converting Commercial Space to Revitalize the Downtown Core

    Charlottetown Area Development Corporation set out to determine the feasibility of using heritage structures for downtown apartments. The project identified empty and underutilized second- and third-floor spaces in the city core and evaluated their suitability for residential development.
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    Backyard Infill Fronting on Alleys

    Restrictive municipal bylaws and neighbourhood resistance can pose significant obstacles to building a second housing unit in a backyard that fronts onto an alley.  Habitat sur Mesure built a successful 7-unit townhouse project fronting a downtown alley.
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    Building Houses That Front on Alleys

    (Available in original language) Restrictive municipal bylaws and neighbourhood resistance can pose significant obstacles to building a second housing unit in a backyard that fronts onto an alley.  Habitat sur Mesure built a successful 7-unit townhouse project fronting a downtown alley.
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    A Smart Growth Tool to Help Urban Communities Estimate Infill Potential

    The Haven Group developed a cost-effective software planning tool and statistical analysis techniques to enable municipal planners to estimate and continually monitor a community's residential infill potential. This also provides decision makers with critical information about when to expand municipal boundaries.
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    Straw Bale Infill Housing on Small Urban Lots

    The project team was awarded an ACT grant to design and build a single-family house on a small infill lot in an older Montréal neighbourhood.  This ACT initiative addresses regulations related to the City Charter, the subdivision bylaw, the City's urban design guidelines and heritage area restrictions.
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    Action Plan for Revitalizing a Commercial Artery

    Hochelaga-Maisonneuve used to have a reputation for drugs, prostitution and violence. In 1992, the City removed commercial usage permits from the buildings along a section of the south side of Ste-Catherine Street, thinking it would encourage their use as residential properties. On the contrary, this regulatory change only made the situation worse. An umbrella group of community organizations, the Collectif en aménagement urbain Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, received an ACT grant in order to identify ways to revitalize a once vibrant section of Ste. Catherine Street.
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    Project to Encourage Triplex and Quadruplex Housing

    The City had identified several trends that suggested a growing need for smaller homes for seniors and for low and moderate income households. The project team undertook to produce three concept designs for innovative triplex and quadruplex housing forms; prepare design guidelines; and propose changes to the Official Community Plan and the zoning bylaw. Regulatory changes and a new residential triplex and quadruplex zone (RM-2) were introduced in 1997 and 1998. Appendix A presents the zoning bylaw for RM-2.
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    Small Lot Housing

    Through this project, the City aimed to minimize the time required for approval of infill housing projects; revise the zoning bylaw to allow infill housing; create site development guidelines for infill housing; identify infill housing construction techniques and designs that would complement existing neighbourhoods; modify access and parking provisions for infill housing projects; and identify opportunities for redevelopment for residential use in the downtown area.
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    Small-Lot Single Family Infill Housing

    The City developed design, site and parking guidelines, and made zoning amendments, to ensure infill homes are compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood. The project demonstrated that infill housing, under appropriate design guidelines and zoning, can improve housing affordability, choice and quality. Three award-winning houses were built. All three units have been sold with prices around $204,000, comparing favourably with new single family homes in this location which normally sell for approximately $280,000.
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    Mount Pearl Residential Intensification Study

    The study confirmed there was considerable opportunity to proceed with residential intensification. It provided an implementation strategy and included recommendations to add residential intensification policies to the City's municipal plan.
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    Small-Scale Infill: The Stacked Fourplex

    Developed a one- and two-bedroom side-by-side, stacked fourplex design concept, with variations, for a typical single-family lot; determined construction budgets; and produced a draft zoning bylaw permitting construction of the fourplex. A prototype was to be built, but a site couldn't be obtained. A realtor concluded the units could sell for $79,000 to $87,000 (1991), a definite savings as virtually no other house in the Victoria area was available for less than $100,000.
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    Downtown Revitalization

    The City of Drummondville conducted a study to determine the financial and technical feasibility of revitalizing one of the downtown districts to encourage innovative and affordable housing.
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    Revitalizing the Bank Street Corridor

    The project examined opportunities for affordable housing on under-used parcels of land in the corridor and to identify regulatory modifications required to allow such development to proceed.
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    Environmental Assessment Guidelines for Residential Development

    Examined the need for and feasibility of incorporating a preliminary environmental review assessment into the land development approval process at the municipal level.
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    Zoning and Innovative, Affordable Infill Housing

    This project determined how the City of Montreal's zoning bylaw presented obstacles to affordable housing and proposed modifications to eliminate or minimize these impediments. The study recommended changes to the zoning regulations dealing with building height, building line, stairways, emergency exits, setbacks, determination of mean roof level and parking spaces.
Page Updated: 21/12/2015