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As a result of sky-high real estate prices in Vancouver, some people are devising some pretty zany ways to create affordable homes.

Entrepreneur Stephen Do is one of them. He’s come up with a design for a prefabricated 500-square foot home that he can build for less than $100,000. Which, in Vancouver, is pretty much the best deal around. The only problem is, he needs locations to build them, which is where his “out of the box” thinking begins to take hold.

Basically, Do is asking homeowners to lease him part of their backyards so he can build and manage laneway homes in them. In return, he says the owners can expect to receive “anywhere from $200 to $500 a month”. In addition, homeowners will have the option to buy the laneway homes outright if they would rather manage them on their own.

“Look at rentals, they charge $1,800 – I don’t know anybody who could afford that, and it’s going up higher and higher,” Do said. “I feel sorry for young people.”

Do’s plan would target lower-income and younger residents. He’s already distributed thousands of fliers to homeowners across the city, and while he promises there will be “no risk” to them, real estate lawyer Richard Bell disagrees.

“Does the owner have the opportunity to approve any tenant that’s going to be there? I don’t know this person. What happens if there’s a financial problem in the middle of building?” he said.

Either way, laneway homes are on the rise in the city. Since 2009, more than 2,000 of them have popped up, setting the stage for a different kind of rental structure in Vancouver.

To get an idea of what these homes would actually look like, check out the video above.

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