Reusing and Relocating Houses - GTEC Blog

Original article found on The “Reusing and relocating houses ought to be part of the solution to our crisis” – by Gil Yaron, Managing Director of Light House. Gil is dedicated to helping government and industry advance regenerative built environments.

In this article, Gil Yaron speaks passionately about the housing crisis, affordability, and the environment, as well as the role his organization, Light House, can play in mitigating these issues.

There is much pressure on cities in British Columbia to quickly create more affordable housing. So, single-family homes are being torn down to make way for multi-family developments. However, many of these homes could be saved to provide affordable housing. Or they could be salvaged to reuse building materials or appliances.

“We absolutely need to add housing to our province, and accelerating the building process is a part of the solution. However, we shouldn’t be treating existing homes like garbage in our pursuit to densify. Tearing down family homes should be the last resort amid B.C.’s housing crisis, widespread labour and material shortages, and the climate crisis.” Gil Yaron, Light House.

Relocating a house using a flatbed truckA significant number of homes that could be relocated or deconstructed are instead being demolished and sent to the landfill. To achieve our carbon emission goals faster, we need to take advantage of the carbon savings that can be preserved in having less construction and reusing building materials. Carbon savings would come from reduced operational, embodied and upfront carbon emissions.

This year, two houses were donated to the Songhees Nation instead of being demolished, which helped with their housing shortage. Five homes in Coquitlam will be relocated and replaced with townhouses. This is good for the environment, while helping reach their housing target goals. Recently in the news, Jimmy Pattison’s old family house, is for sale for $1, with the condition that the house be saved and relocated.

Gil Yaron’s Light House released a report last week entitled, A Blueprint for Change. This report outlines recommendations to prioritize house relocation and deconstruction over demolition. “… [I]f adopted by the province and local governments, [we] could save thousands of beautiful, well-built homes, provide housing in exurban communities at a fraction of the time and cost it takes to build new and help provincial and municipal governments address the affordable housing and waste crisis.”

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