City approves new incentives to get family housing built in Vancouver

Today City Council approved new incentives to get more family housing built in Vancouver. The changes build on the success of the City’s Rental 100 program, which provides incentives for the construction of rental apartments instead of condos and has generated almost 4,000 new rental homes.

The staff report shows a significant lack of family housing in Vancouver. Out of 55,800 rental housing units in Vancouver, there are just over 500 three bedroom units – less than 1%. The City will allow Development Cost Levies to be waived on the construction of new three bedroom rental units, with a size limit of 1,044 square feet – in line with BC Housing Standards for affordable housing.

“We need more housing built for families in Vancouver, and this is one tool the City can take to make it happen,” said Mayor Robertson. “Given how few units there are, it’s clear we cannot leave it to the housing market to generate three bedroom homes. Families need a place in Vancouver and that means providing a wider range of housing options.”

The Mayor added that these new incentives are just one tool for addressing affordable housing, and that much more is needed from the Provincial and Federal governments to address Vancouver’s housing challenges.

“City Hall is doing all it can to get new affordable housing built, and to deliver a range of housing options,” said the Mayor. “Our Rental 100 program has delivered thousands of new rental homes, with no senior government help. Our Affordable Housing Agency is putting up city-owned land to partner with developers and non-profits to build new co-ops and family housing.

“To achieve the progress we need though, the federal government must finally step up with a national commitment to affordable housing, and we’ll need to keep expanding our partnership with the Province to take action in a number of new ways. The years of housing cutbacks we’ve seen from the Federal government are compounding our housing challenges in Vancouver.”