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 arenâ€™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 Winnipegâ€™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.