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Same House—Better Homes

The cost of living is rising, and in most Canadian cities, that includes housing. In St. John's 28% of all renters were in Core Housing Need, and that number jumps to 38% when you consider one person households. [1] How do we increase affordable housing here, and what does that look like? I've laid out six design principles in the Affordable Housing Toolkit, and given a brief synopsis in this video. [2]

It became clear to me that we have a mismatch. More one-person households are looking for homes than are available, and those looking aren't interested in what once served as family homes. The three, four, five bedroom homes that are really starting to degrade. So, why not repurpose some of the aging family homes that aren't appealing on the private market? [3] It'll improve our neighbourhoods by fixing up homes that are showing their age and by increasing the number of people in a fairly low density city. Intensification (what we're proposing here) may help support new city infrastructure like parks/transit and the creation of local businesses like daycares and cafes. Win-win to me. Studio AC helped by showing us what this kind of idea could look like.

We crunched the numbers to explore the feasibility. Can we develop affordable housing in smaller centres in a way that feels right for our community? Yes! The good news is—great design in affordable housing on a small scale is feasible. If you'd like to read the full document, you can download it below. [4]