Millennials Seek New Housing Opportunities

Canada’s millennials are transforming the housing landscape in their search for new kinds of homes.

And they pack a big punch financially. According to a report by CBC News, more than 50% of 25 to 35-year-old Canadians own a home, compared to 36% of U.S. millennials. The research, from TD Economics, says that Canadian millennials have less student debt, better jobs and higher incomes than their U.S. peers. What do millennials want it comes to housing? The answer is: Pretty much everything. And a U.S. innovation called an “Urby” may suit the bill.

The Urby is a mixed-use residential development that brings a little bit of city, a little bit of community and a little bit of entertainment to a little apartment. Emphasizing “New Urbanist” principles such as walkable neighbourhoods and access to public transportation, Urby developments are designed for urban professionals.

Key to Urby projects such as the Urban Ready Life (URL) complex in Staten Island, N.Y. is providing opportunities for social interaction. URL common areas offer chances for interpersonal connections between residents by including lobby coffee shops, communal kitchens and a cultural director. Sounds ideal for this work-hard, play-hard generation, and Canadian developers are watching the progress of projects such as Urbys, the tiny house movement and co-op housing developments.

So far, however, they’re just watching: Notes Steve Jackson, program manager for the Cooperative Housing Association of Canada: “It’s unfortunate that there are no major programs to develop new co-op housing … We know that a lot of millennials do see co-op housing as a wonderful option.”