Municipality Promoting Housing Options

Secondary Dwellings in Chatham-Kent / Support Affordable Housing and Aging in Place

Do you love living, working, and playing in CK? As a community that provides opportunities for households at all stages of life, Chatham-Kent is a place in which we all want to stay and age. Increased home prices and decreased vacancy rates for rental units have required households to seek out new ways to access housing that is affordable and suitable. One of the most versatile ways to increase affordable housing is through the development of private secondary dwellings and garden suites.

Secondary Dwelling

What is a Secondary Dwelling?

  • In Chatham-Kent’s urban areas, a secondary dwelling provides separate living quarters and is located within the primary dwelling or within a building ancillary to the primary dwelling. The primary dwelling can be a single detached dwelling, semi-detached dwelling unit, or row house dwelling unit. Secondary dwellings are required to be located where municipal water services and municipal sanitary sewer services are provided.

Secondary Dwellings benefit owners and dwellers by providing:

  • Rental income opportunity for the owners
  • Independent housing for family or friends who may need extra care
  • Opportunity for multi-generational living and aging in place
  • Affordable and additional housing within existing neighbourhoods for renters

How can you get started?

Contact Chatham-Kent Building Development Services at to see if a secondary dwelling or garden suite is permitted. If so, Chatham-Kent Building Development Services can provide a list of requirements for a building permit.

Incentives to build a Secondary Dwelling Unit

Secondary Dwelling Units, where permitted in the Zoning By-law, can be eligible to receive a grant of $2,500. Contact for details.

Garden Suite

What is a Garden Suite?

In Chatham-Kent’s rural areas, a garden suite is a one‐unit detached residential structure containing bathroom and kitchen facilities that are secondary to an existing residential structure and that is designed to be portable. By way of a Temporary Use By-law, a garden suite may be permitted on a lot within the Agricultural area.

Garden Suites benefit owners and dwellers by providing:

  • Independent housing for families who may need extra care
  • Opportunity for aging in place

How can you get started?

Contact for further details.