Regulatory amendments pave way to greater housing density with Accessory Dwelling Units

Recent amendments to the Subdivision and Development Regulations of the Planning Act will allow for increased housing density across the province.

The changes define a new classification of housing unit known as an “accessory dwelling unit” – an independent dwelling unit located on the same lot or parcel of land as an existing single-family dwelling. The regulations define three types of accessory dwelling units: Garden Suite, Secondary Suite and Supportive Suite.  Accessory dwelling units could be completely separate from the primary dwelling, attached to or within an existing accessory building (such as an existing detached garage), or a secondary/in-law suite contained within an existing dwelling. 

The Planning Act provides for efficient planning at the provincial and municipal level and aims to promote sustainable and planned development. The Subdivision and Development Regulations established under the Act apply to those areas of the province that are outside a municipality with an official plan and bylaws. While the former Regulations did permit secondary dwellings under limited circumstance, they could only be temporary dwellings not for long-term housing use.

“I have asked municipalities to update their official plans as quickly as possible to support the increased needs for housing and the provincial government must do the same. By increasing lot density for land within provincial jurisdiction, we can increase our housing stock. We will continue to look at ways to increase housing starts on Prince Edward Island to return to a balanced vacancy rate.”

- Housing, Land and Communities Minister Rob Lantz

Accessory dwelling units may only be used for housing on a long-term basis in excess of 30 days and cannot serve as short-term rentals or tourism accommodations.

The new Subdivision and Development Regulations will come into effect on February 10, 2024. 

For more information, visit: Accessory Dwelling Units.

Media contact:
April Gallant
Senior Communications Officer
Housing, Land and Communities

General Inquiries

Department of Housing, Land and Communities
2nd Shaw North
95 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE C1A 3T5

Phone: 902-218-8569