Housing Mix Policy to increase options for Vancouver families

To increase housing options for Vancouver families, a report to Council next week will recommend new housing mix policies to increase the supply of family homes in new strata and rental buildings.

“Vancouver is growing and we need more housing built for families - historically the City didn't ensure enough was built to meet demand,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This important policy will help make our neighbourhoods more family friendly and vibrant, and ensure that as Vancouver grows, families can find housing options that work for them.”

The policy being put forward recommends a minimum supply of family units be included in all new rezoning projects:

  • a minimum requirement of 35 per cent family units (25 per cent two bedroom and 10 per cent three or more bedrooms) in residential strata projects, like condominiums;
  • a minimum target of 35 per cent two and three bedroom family units for secured market rental buildings.

The City’s current policies typically target a minimum 25 per cent two and three bedroom units in new strata and rental. This policy change would ensure that as the city grows, higher density housing will create more room for families and larger households.

Over the last year staff have provided development applicants with notification about this potential policy change. As a result, the report recommends that the policy apply to all new rezoning applications received after the policy is adopted by Council.

If approved, this policy will apply to rezonings city-wide and supersede any existing family housing requirements in Council-approved community plans, such as Joyce-Collingwood Precinct Plan, Cambie Corridor, etc. Certain exceptions are outlined in the policy. 

To improve the affordability, flexibility and livability of family units, staff are also seeking Council direction to review and update the High-Density Housing for Families with Children Guidelines (1992). Through robust public consultation and engagement with urban families, the local development community, and other stakeholders, the guidelines will be modernized to meet the needs of today’s families. City staff will report back to council with the approved guidelines in spring 2017.

The full council report can be seen here: http://council.vancouver.ca/20160713/documents/cfsc2.pdf.