City Makes Changes to Basement Apartments in Brampton

 

Affordable housing has been an issue for some time now, so it’s good for homeowners and tenants to know about housing policy changes as they arise.

And if you were hoping to live in a regulated and affordable basement suite (or rent out a secondary unit for a little extra income), some recent news might interest you. 

If you currently rent out a section of your home, the city is adjusting its policies for having a second unit as part of your home.

For thos who are unaware, a second unit is any self-contained residential unit within a house. This includes any part of the house, including the basement or individual rooms.

Second units currently provide an affordable housing option for many in Brampton, as they allow tenants to rent smaller spaces at more affordable prices.

"Affordable housing is foundational to poverty reduction. In a growing city like Brampton, second units can provide an affordable housing option for many people - but not every house in Brampton can safely house a second unit," said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. "We have listened to our residents, and these changes provide more flexibility while still ensuring these units are safe, legal and livable."

Since 2015, second units have been permitted in detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings in Brampton, subject to zoning requirements.

Now, the city has proposed a few changes, aiming to make it safer to own and rent second units.

  • The width requirement for parking space will be reduced from 2.7m (8.8 feet) to 2.6m (8.5 feet). This change would maintains the requirement for three on-site parking spaces, but provide more opportunity to park two cars side by side on the driveway of detached and semi-detached houses.

  • The second unit must be smaller than the principal dwelling. This replaces the current system of basing the second unit size on a percentage of the house's size, and maintains the intent of having an "accessory" unit.

  • As for the registration process, building permit applications and registration applications will have to be submitted for review at the same time, improving the efficiency of the current two-step process.

  • Landings will be permitted for above-grade side entrances, as long as they don't affect access to the rear yard.

  • As for Legal non-conforming (LNC) units that have been recognized by the City as existing before November 16, 1995 and have continued to be used as a two-unit dwelling since that time, the initial $200 registration fee will be waived. A $200 refund will be processed for LNC units that have already applied for registration.

In order to be legal, second units must be registered with the City. Homeowners who do not register their second unit with the City may be subject to a fine of up to $25,000 for individuals or $50,000 for a corporation.

The changes are pending City Council Approval on June 7.

For more information, click here.  

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