City expands opportunities to take advantage of the benefits of secondary suites
August 21, 2018

New Zoning Bylaw regulations mean that more Edmontonians can take advantage of the benefits secondary suites can offer. Under the new regulations, homeowners can build these suites in single family homes on narrow lots, and in semi-detached, duplex and row houses. 

The City is also supporting secondary suites through a new online registr y , that gives prospective tenants a way to find safe, permitted suites to live in. Homeowners can apply for existing City grant funding to help cover construction costs to ensure their suite is properly permitted and meets regulations.

“Expanding opportunities for secondary suites helps provide all neighbourhoods in Edmonton with a range of safe, regulated housing choices. This creates more inclusive and healthy communities,” says Anne Stevenson, Senior Planner with the City’s Zoning Bylaw team. “These suites contribute to more affordable housing options for renters and a way for homeowners to earn rental income.”

City grant funding can cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of building a new suite, or retrofitting an existing one, to a maximum of $20,000. In exchange for the grant funding, recipients are required to rent the suite out at a below market rate for a minimum of five years.

The City is also encouraging homeowners with existing, unpermitted suites to apply for permits by waiving application penalty fees if they voluntarily apply before September 1, 2019. Homeowners with suites built prior to 2007 may also benefit from decreased retrofit costs if they obtain permits prior to anticipated changes to the Provincial Fire and Safety Code regulations later this year.

Secondary suites are self-contained units commonly located in the basement of homes with separate cooking, cleaning and bathroom facilities. The Zoning Bylaw previously only allowed secondary suites in single family homes on lots larger than 360 square metres. Currently, there are about 3500 permitted secondary suites in Edmonton, representing roughly 1.7 percent of Edmonton’s stock of over 200,000 single family homes.
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