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Pocket Suite Housing

Affordable 'pocket suites' as an award-winning alternative to rooming houses for single room occupancy.


S.A.M Management, a non-profit corporation that specializes in managing non-profit housing, retained WSP to undertake a feasibility study for an affordable alternative to rooming housing for single room occupancy (SRO).

WSP, in association with Cohlmeyer Architects, developed the concept of ‘pocket suites’ a unique alternative to substandard rooming houses. The design of these pocket suites will provide safe, affordable, decent and most of all, independent accommodations for people on fixed incomes.

The two-storey, eight unit dwelling is made up of 8 – 250 sq.ft. units. Each unit has its own private entrance and comes equipped with a kitchenette, a private bathroom with shower and toilet, a bed and sitting space. All suites are barrier free, with one suite on the main floor being fully wheelchair accessible.

There is a great need for affordable housing within the City’s oldest neighbourhoods. Three other infill lots have been identified as future pocket suite sites.


  • Feasibility Study
  • Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment
  • Zoning Approvals
  • Financing and Tenant Support
  • Development Proposal


  • Consulting Engineers of Manitoba, Award of Merit, Innovation, 2007
  • Manitoba Intergovernmental Affairs, Manitoba Planning Excellence Award, Outstanding     Achievement in Community Planning, 2007
  • Canadian Institute of Planners, Award for Planning Excellence, Housing, 2007

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba