Garages – The New Affordable Houses?

Would you ever set up home in someone else’s garage? Or let a stranger move in to yours?

More and more people are asking, “why not?”

Let’s consider just how hard it’s becoming for people to afford housing in big cities. From Berlin to Singapore to Stockholm, rents have soared. And forget buying: research last year showed that 40% of young adults in England, for example, can’t afford to buy even the cheapest homes in their area – even with just a 10% deposit.

Could living in a converted garage be an answer?

Maybe. In parts of the United States, a lack of affordable housing means garage conversions are taking off. In car-centric Los Angeles, for example, 117 garage conversion permits were issued to residents in 2016 – but in 2018, thanks to a change in the law, that number rocketed to 4,171.

These garage flats could represent a lot more than the opportunity for an extra stream of income for homeowners. Proponents say they could help remedy cities’ housing problems, and even fight homelessness.

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