For all of the news about affordable housing in Saskatoon, most of the affordable housing units are still over $200,000. There is still a huge need for low rent units. A company in Winnipeg is solving both the problem of creating low rent apartments and finding a solution for how to build on narrow abandoned lots called Pocket Houses.
At 210 and 243 square feet these aren’t exactly built for families and all of the suites have had to make sacrifices for space. They are however a unique and cutting-edge alternative to conventional rooming houses. These narrow buildings on infill lots fit well with the City of Winnipeg’s inventory of vacant lots in residential neighbourhoods. Each building is two storeys high and has 8 units each with separate entrances, private washrooms, and separate ventilation systems. Each Pocket House features three barrier-free suites and one fully accessible suite on the main floor, with four other suites on the second level accessible by two outside staircases.
Each suite has a built-in cooking area complete with mini-fridge, microwave, sink, hot plate, dishes and cooking utensils. Suites also feature a single bed, a built-in table and a chair. The fully accessible main floor suite has modified doorways and a large roll-in shower for wheelchairs.