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It’s time to move on from single family homes, says UBC sociologist

A free-standing house with a yard is still seen as the holy grail of real estate for many and one UBC housing expert says clinging to that hope shapes how some Vancouverites view development and densification.

In the newly announced 2018 B.C. budget, the NDP government took aim at housing costs with tax measures and promised to build 114,000 homes over the next decade including social, student and modular housing.

Nathan Lauster, an associate professor of sociology at UBC and author of The Death and Life of the Single Family Home, agrees more housing is the solution to tackling the affordability crisis.

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History of housing

As a sociologist, much of Lauster’s research has focused on how cultural attitudes toward housing are evolving.

Options like secondary suits and laneway houses are more easily accepted, but people “still seem to balk at things like townhouses and low-rise apartments.”

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