STOP Tearing Down Small Houses

The house on the left is typical of th area. The monster home on the right replaced a smaller home recently. Photo by Louise Peacock

I just wrote a rant about government interference in taxpayers’ homes. Now I’m going to put on my socialist hat and rant about the lack of government control in another housing area.

Recently, where we live, the real estate market has been red hot. Even older, unrenovated homes were getting into bidding wars and fetching very high prices. Speculators were having a field day.

Young couples just starting out are finding it nearly impossible to find a small, affordable home and are forced to continue renting, or go the condominium route.

Rental housing in the various nearby cities is impossible to find, and when you find it, the rent is much higher than people on a modest income can afford.

Naturally, people seeing an opportunity to make a lot of money on their home want to cash in on the housing market surge. I don’t have a problem with that. Where I become incensed and see a need for government control is when I see big building outfits coming in, buying tiny homes in a neighbourhood where tiny homes are the norm, and ripping that little house down to build what we un-lovingly term a “monster home”.

A small house in an area filled with similar homes, which would make a great starter home for a young couple. Photo by Louise Peacock

So, if you read the previous article where I objected to government control or interference with property owners, you are thinking that I am being very illogical.

No, I am not being illogical. Here is the point. If we have a neighbourhood where houses are small and affordable, and we come in start ripping these smaller houses down and replacing them with huge places which will fetch above the million dollar mark, pretty soon that affordable neighbourhood is no longer affordable. Those remaining starter homes will go on the market and be snapped up by builders and developers. The young working couples who were hoping to move out of the rental apartment and start a family will not be able to find a smaller house that they can afford. Soon they won’t even be able to find an affordable rental unit.

So, what kind of government control am I thinking of?

There should be restrictions on how much larger you can make a small house in an area with small houses. Right now there are some ludicrously lax restrictions which do not stop the developers at all.

I mean some REAL restrictions. I mean restrictions that would completely prevent the destruction of small, affordable homes in an area of homes of the same size. So if your house is a one-story home, it has to remain a one-story home.

By putting a stop to the ridiculous monster home encroachments in neighbourhoods, the market would again be open to first time buyers, they would be able to move out of rentals, which would then become available to others needing those rentals.

If you can afford to buy a million dollar home, why would you want to live in a neighbourhood filled with smaller, more modest homes?

Why should your monster home be able to shade your one story neighbours, spoiling their quality of living? Why should your huge mansion cause smaller homes to be sold so they too can be turned into monster homes, thus destabilizing the area?

Fancy rebuild on the right is built to the property line and cuts out the sun from the smaller home on the left. Photo by Louise Peacock

We are in the midst of a housing crisis, according to the various levels of government in our area — but so far all they have come up with is taxes on property owners. There is no effort to curtail out of control expansion.

As long as developers are allowed to replace affordable homes with million dollar monster homes the housing crisis will continue.



Louise Peacock is a writer, garden designer, Reiki practitioner, singer-songwriter & animal activist. Favorite insult “Eat cake & choke” On Medium since 2016.

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Louise Peacock

Louise Peacock is a writer, garden designer, Reiki practitioner, singer-songwriter & animal activist. Favorite insult “Eat cake & choke” On Medium since 2016.