“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.