As part of efforts to address their city’s housing affordability issues, Cambridge officials are reportedly planning to make it easier to retrofit homes with a legal secondary suite.
According to CBC News, current applications must go through an official city planning process, which includes holding a mandatory public meeting. This could take as long as half a year to complete.
Hardy Bromberg, deputy city manager of community development told CBC's The Morning Edition that the new plan would recognize secondary residential units as acceptable modification under the zoning bylaw, thereby eliminating the need to go through the planning process.
The move is expected to cut the processing time to just 10 business days. “"You simply need to come in, apply for a building permit and start construction,” said Bromberg.
According to the official, the planned changes will cut red tape and open up the city’s rental market. "It may provide options for existing homeowner to supplement their income, help pay for a mortgage and also provide some affordability for new homebuyers to try to get into the market,” he added.
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