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Flowers make this laneway house in Vancouver, BC (Mike Quigley)

Just as the pandemic has redefined the way we do everything from work to shop, it has redefined the way we live. Many people have lost their jobs, which has cost them their brick-and-mortar homes. Now, with apartment rent soaring through the roof, they must define every space from the pup tent to the tiny house as "home."

The problem doesn't just affect those who lose their jobs. It also affects seniors. Statistics show that only one-fourth of all seniors have sufficient sums set aside for retirement to see them through the so-called golden years. Many find they must sell the houses they thought would be their homes for a lifetime in order to generate funds on which to live. That means they must find new, less expensive ways to live.

So, what are our options? We may be fortunate to find ourselves in a room in the home of a friend or relative. Of course, that usually is only a temporary solution. After all, in time, we will want, if not need, a place of our own. If we are less fortunate, we may well find ourselves in that pup tent or even our car. As we will read on these pages, we may consider ourselves blessed if our car is an SUV. Sooner or later, however, we will need to make more permanent arrangements. Will we opt for an RV or a tiny house? 

The important thing to remember is that any structure is only a house. We make it a home by adding our personalities; that is, our tastes in colors, a few of our cherished keepsakes, and photographs of our families and friends, scenes from our favorite vacations, and quirky moments we've managed to capture with our cameras. In short, we don't need the oh-so-pricey McMansion. We need a place that makes us feel warm and cozy.

Many thanks to Mike Quigley, who went out with his camera and took numerous pictures of laneway houses in Vancouver for me to use on this website. Mahalo nui, Mike!