A laneway house is a smaller, detached home located where the garage would normally go on a single-family lot (RS zones). Laneway houses contribute to the overall sustainability of the city. They give people more opportunities to live close to where they work, shop, and play, and they make the city's urban lanes more green, livable, and safe. Laneway housing also contributes to the amount of affordable rental housing available in the city. Laneway houses cannot be sold independently of the main house on the lot, there is no separate title for a laneway house, nor is it part of a strata lot (i.e. 1/2 duplexes, townhouse, or coach houses). a property is not subdivided when a laneway house is built.

Laneway housing in a snap shot - the history and current status  pdficonsm.gif


City Of Vancouver Laneway Housing - City of Vancouver Main Page

City of Vancouver Laneway Housing - Fact Sheet  pdficonsm.gif   

City of Vancouver Laneway Housing - Guidelines pdficonsm.gif

Laneway Housing Regulations - See Section 11.24 - Bylaw Regulations  pdficonsm.gif

Laneway Housing Monitoring - Update March 2010 pdficonsm.gif               Update October 2010 pdficonsm.gif

Detailed checklist of application submission requirements - Construction of of Laneway House   pdficonsm.gif

Laneway Housing Update - June 2013 Full Report - from City of Vancouver website:

This report concludes the review of the laneway housing (LWH) program in single family areas, as directed by Council, by providing an update on the LWH initiative and recommending amendments to the LWH regulations and guidelines to address key issues that have been identified though the monitoring of LWH development. The proposed amendments address impacts on neighbouring properties, provision of parking, livability of the units and length of the permitting process. They aim to improve the fit of LWH into neighbourhoods by:
• encouraging the development of more one storey LWH which have fewer impacts in terms of height and massing on neighbouring sites, are less expensive to build, and would provide improved access for those with mobility challenges;
• requiring one external permeable parking space to support the provision of on-site parking;
• providing more floor area for living and storage space; and
• streamlining the permitting process by allowing an outright review process for one storey LWH.
Additionally, this report recommends expansion of the LWH program to the remaining RS zones to equalize opportunity for LWH across all single family areas.


November 2010 - City of Vancouver Update on Laneway housing: Full report from the City of Vancouver Key Findings - Vancouver's First 100 Laneway Houses

  • 39 of the first 100 laneway houses were added onto sites while retaining the existing main house; 61 were part of total site redevelopment (a new laneway house and a new main house). Overall, for approximately every 8 new single family homes developed, 1 has included a new laneway house.
  • Of the first 100 laneway houses:
    - 67% are 1 bedroom units; 28% are 2 bedroom units; 5% are studio units.
    - 59% provide the minimum 1 onsite parking space; 41% provide 2 or more spaces.
    - Rental rates range between $1000 - $2100 for 1 – 2 bedroom laneway houses in varying locations, with varying quality of finishes. These rates are consistent with CMHC rent levels for recent, purpose-built rental housing projects.

July 28th, 2009 - City of Vancouver Council, approved unanimously, the plan to allow laneway housing. This will affect almost 70,000 single-family properties in Vancouver that are now potentially eligible to add a small house in their backyard. This has been a much debated about possible solution Vancouver's extremely low vacancy rate of .3%.

Concerns about livability, parking, density all come to a forefront with this hot topic. Is this the solution to Vancouver's problem of affordable housing? Read on.... Full story from Vancouver Sun & Vancouver Province.