Offer promises Vancouverites ‘no risk’ laneway homes on properties
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2016 5:08PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 5, 2016 6:19PM PST
A Vancouver entrepreneur is asking local homeowners to lease him part of their backyards so he can build and manage laneway homes in them.
Stephen Do told CTV News he has a design for a prefabricated 500-square-foot home that he can build for less than $100,000, and all he needs is locations.
“I will build it at my own cost, I will look for tenants, and I will charge below market value rent,” Do said.
The businessman said he intends to rent them out to lower-income families. How much monthly income the property owners can expect will depend on a number of factors, Do added, but it should be at least a couple hundred dollars.
“Anywhere from $200 to $500 a month, which I think is very good on a vacant piece of land to rent, and they don’t have to assume any kind of headache. I would be doing all the work for them,” Do said.
Homeowners will be free to purchase the laneway homes outright if they admire the workmanship, he added.
Do has promised the offer presents “no risk” to property owners, but real estate lawyer Richard Bell warned there’s always a risk in these kinds of deals.
“Does the owner have the opportunity to approve any tenant that’s going to be there? I don’t know this person. What happens if there’s a financial problem in the middle of building?” Bell said.
“I’m really supportive of trying to come up with new solutions [to the housing crisis], but one has to be careful and make sure you’re consulting with professionals.”
Do, who has already distributed thousands of fliers all across the city looking for partners, said he was inspired by the plight of young people who have struggled to find affordable housing.
That includes his three adult children.
“They’ve been complaining, they just said there’s no way to catch up,” Do said.
“Look at rentals, they charge $1,800 – I don’t know anybody who could afford that, and it’s going up higher and higher.”
There have been 2,000 laneway houses built since 2009, and more are popping up in backyards every year.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Mi-Jung Lee