Victoria makes it easier, cheaper for homeowners to build garden suites

The city says there are 6,700 single family homes in Victoria and allowing more garden suites could alleviate the tight rental market.

Previously garden suite applications were evaluated by council on case-by-case basis

Victoria city councillors have voted to approve garden suites in all single-family homes, in the hope that it could alleviate the very tight rental market in B.C.'s capital city. (Dominic Valente/Associated Press)

Victoria city councillors have voted to allow garden suites in all single-family homes in a move to increase rental housing options.

The city says there are 6,700 single family homes in Victoria and allowing more garden suites could alleviate the very tight rental market.

"It has the potential to be a very large step, we hope homeowners will consider it," said Victoria mayor Lisa Helps.

Until now, garden suite applications were evaluated by council on a case-by-case basis.

Only 18 garden suites have been built in Victoria since 2011, far fewer compared to cities such as Vancouver.

The city says the change doesn't override regulations for privacy and safety for building garden suites, but it will make the process easier and less costly for homeowners. 

With files from CHEK News