Image from: shapeyourcityhalifax.ca
In this segment of our series in exploring various Laneway Suites across the globe, we will be viewing Halifax as a case study to better understand the differences in comparison to Toronto.
Halifax, the capital of the Nova Scotia province, is another city in Canada to legally pass the amendment for the construction of backyard housing units. Back-lane housing, also often referred to as granny flats, infill housing, coach houses, or accessory units, has been adopted as a new way of providing space in single-family areas that have the intention of renting the added space on their own property.
The purpose of backyard units and introducing a mix of housing types, especially in Halifax, is to address the issue of affordable housing. In March of 2018, the Regional Council began the process of considering amendments to the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy and all applicable community municipal planning strategies/land-use by-laws to simplify the development of secondary and backyard suites. In September of 2020, the Halifax Regional Council passed the proposed amendments to the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy and all land use By-laws, which allow secondary suites and backyard suites accessory to a single unit, two-unit, or townhouse dwellings. Both Backyard and Secondary suites can be used by parents or adult children or could be used as rental units for the general public.
The table highlights the new bylaws for secondary and backyard suites:
Halifax is a relevant case study of how a new method of housing can allow easier access to living in single-family areas. The Secondary and Backyard suites illustrate the high demand of providing more affordable housing and an efficient way of enriching neighborhoods.