What is FlexHousing™?

CMHC’s FlexHousing™ is an innovative approach to home design, renovation and construction that is able to adapt and convert affordably as a household’s lifestyle and needs change. As the needs of the household occupants change, ideally the floorplan, amenities and services of the home can be easily, and cost-effectively adapted.

FlexHousing™ concepts can be applied to, and seamlessly integrated within, all forms of conventional housing. It applies to any kind of new housing construction – from singles and duplexes to multi-unit residential buildings. It also works for renovations thereby helping to address the challenges associated with an aging population and an aging housing stock.

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FlexHousing™ Modularity

{Visual}: Kitchen/Shower/Bedroom/Bathroom

As thename suggests, homes designed with FlexHousing principles can be adapted more affordably — andwith less disruption — to life’s changing needs. They are the future inthe present.

{Visual}: Mainentrance/Modular wall dividing space into 2-units

With thesimple addition of a door, this entrance to a single-family, two-storeydwelling could become the entrance for two separate living units later on --either for family members or to provide an additional source of income.

{Visual}: Livingroom/Construction photo of living room/Living room

Thesewalls are pre-plumbed and pre-wired, so with very little effort and cost, thisroom could be adapted to become the kitchen in an upstairs apartment.

{Visual}: Bedroom/Modular wall separating bedroom into two separate rooms

Thissingle room, designed with two windows, two doors, two closets, two lightfixtures, and separate switches can easily and cost-effectively become two separaterooms for more children or to add a home office.

{Visual}: Closets/Elevator

Homescan be designed with stacked closets — one above the other — where an elevatorshaft could be located in the future. The shaft is pre-wired and the floor andwall structure are already built so the elevator can be installed withoutspecial wiring or re-framing.

FlexHousing™ appeals to many different segments of the population including:

  • Young families who benefit from the reconfiguring of rooms to meet their changing spatial requirements over time.
  • Those who want to age in place because no expensive renovation is needed to make the housing more accessible when aging decreases mobility or vision.
  • People with disabilities because the FlexHouse is designed to be fully wheelchair accessible, has wide corridors that make the use of a walker easier, and contains special features for those who are visually impaired.
  • Single adults who may want to live in such a way as to use some space communally and other space independently.
  • Homeowners seeking rental income opportunities.

FlexHousing™ can be appealing for first time homeowners. Because FlexHousing™ can be income-generating when an accessory suite is included, the qualifying income for a mortgage may be reduced. Appropriately designed and constructed, the self-contained unit can later be deconverted if needed to provide additional space for a growing family.

FlexHousing™ Checklist — Homes that Adapt to Life's Changes

By using this handy checklist, you'll be able to visualize, plan and create a FlexHouse that is adaptable, accessible and affordable.

FlexHousing™ is an appealing housing form for older households as well as it can permit them to easily convert space within their houses to secondary suites to generate extra income. FlexHousing™ can also be used to create living space for adult children returning home.

Combined with sustainable housing principles, FlexHousing offers an attractive, enduring, resilient and cost-effective approach to better meeting our changing housing needs over time.