“My husband and I are thinking of building a garden suite on our property to help with mortgage payments but we’ve heard it’s a difficult and expensive process.  Do you have any advice?”

Great news! Victoria city council has approved garden suites in all single family homes. This is a significant step towards fixing the current housing shortage. With this new change, the application process will only take 3-4 weeks, cost $200 and be handled by city staff instead of by councillors.  The old process was a daunting 6-8 months, cost $4,000 and had no guarantee of approval.

What are the advantages?

  • relatively inexpensive housing option for elderly parents, disabled persons or young family members.
  • a senior could move to the garden suite from their previous dwelling – freeing up equity, extending independent living, and increasing companionship, security, and support.
  • garden suites are connected to the services of the main dwelling and wouldn’t require the purchase of additional land.
  • if rental income is received, garden suites can act as a “mortgage helper” to homeowners.

What should be considered?

  • neighbours may raise concerns about the increase in density.
  • on street parking could be a problem.
  • more homes mean more demands on infrastructure such as sewers and water supply.