Vancouver announces boost for supply of affordable rental homes

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

Rental only zones and up to 6-storeys in residential areas

Steve Randall

Several policy changes proposed by Vancouver City Council could deliver thousands of new rental homes over the coming years.

The council approved recommendations this week that will enable faster development of rental units and in more areas of the city.

Councillors backed measures including include rental-only zoning, allowing up to six storeys in commercial zones, a new family-friendly housing pilot program for four to six storey buildings close to schools, parks and shops.

“Vancouver residents told us loud and clear to take action on the housing crisis so that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Together, these policies could help build upwards of 8,000 new rental homes over the next seven years, including nearly 5,000 homes geared to middle-income households, helping more of our friends and neighbours stay in Vancouver.”

Plans to increase affordability include incentives to provide more rental housing for households that earn less than $80,000 per year, by continuing to process and evaluate applications under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program.

Environmental impact The Climate change emergency will be at the heart of all policies, by promoting wood-frame construction, lower embodied emissions, and meeting green buildings standards to reduce energy needs for the building through its lifetime.

The rental only zones will be close to local amenities to ensure walkable communities.

“All parts of the City organization play a role in addressing the housing crisis in our community,” said City Manager, Sadhu Johnston. “Council’s support for this package of initiatives to increase rental production and support energy upgrades on existing buildings with a focus on keeping tenants in their homes, demonstrates our collective commitment to tackle this challenge head-on.”

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