Encounters with difference in the subdivided house

28th Jul 2017

Encounters with difference in the subdivided house: The case of secondary suites in Vancouver

A new paper by Pablo Mendez is now available online


Policies that encourage tenure mix as a strategy to help narrow socio-spatial distance between homeowner households and their renter counterparts have a long and controversial history in North American and European cities. Research that seeks to evaluate the merits of such policies has typically focused on the frequency of encounters between these two types of household, at the expense of the quality of this contact. Accessory apartments in subdivided houses (also known as secondary suites) provide a germane micro-scale environment to examine the content of interactions between homeowners and renters. Inspired by Gill Valentine’s work on ‘encounters with difference’ and using a series of interviews with secondary-suite homeowner-landlords and their tenants in the city of Vancouver, this article illustrates three types of encounters across tenure-based difference. These examples of conflictive, tolerant, and respectful encounter provide helpful material to reflect on the limitations of tenure mix as a macro-scale policy.

You can access and download the artcile here

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