Secondary Suites and Tiny Homes

Provided that there’s adequate space on the lot and the design of the structure fits in with the established neighborhood I see no problem with allowing detached secondary dwelling units (garden suites, coach houses, apartments above garages, etc…). Secondary suites fill an important gap in our housing market and loosening the restrictions on the location and types of secondary suites that can be built will go a long way towards increasing the supply of rental accommodations in the City. Allowing secondary suites throughout the City could also increase the rental housing stock in areas of the City that are currently lacking, allowing people to live closer to where they work.

Some municipalities have already lowered the minimum dwelling size in their bylaws to align with the Ontario Building Code, which is 300 square feet. I would like to see Kingston do the same, and unlike some municipalities that require tiny homes to be mobile, we should allow permanent tiny homes. I’d like to see them meet the same standards as any other dwelling, though, and be equipped with running water, sewer, heat, and electricity.

Relaxing the regulations surrounding secondary suites not only benefit renters, but homeowners and prospective homeowners as well. The cost of purchasing and maintaining a home seems to be going nowhere but up, but the additional income provided by a secondary suite helps to offset the cost and could enable more people to purchase a home. (CMHC allows 100% of secondary suite income to be considered when qualifying for a mortgage).

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