Making room in Vancouver for new density
Vancouver is updating it’s 10-year Housing Strategy with a focus on:
- building more affordable rental and market housing;
- addressing and limiting the over-inflated cost of land;
- ensuring homes residents need and can afford are built; and
- streamlining city processes.
To meet what Mayor Robertson refers to as “the right supply targets,” Vancouver is looking at new opportunities to add housing choice across the city.
The aim is to make room for density by delivering missing middle housing – including duplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, and three to four storey apartments in low density (single family) neighbourhoods through a new Making Room Housing program.
During the next year, the Making Room Housing program will:
- map and research the current conditions in low-density neighbourhoods;
- analyze new housing options and types for consideration;
- explore ways to improve affordability;
- engage with residents on what they want to make room for in their neighbourhoods;
- develop principles and selection criteria to identify suitable locations for new housing options, considering proximity to transit, shopping, schools, parks, and amenities; and
- evaluate where the greatest opportunities exist for increasing housing diversity with the least impacts.
The Making Room Housing program is expected to take up to 18 months and focuses on the RS zoned areas of the city – approximately 65,000 lots.
City of Vancouver staff originally recommended allowing duplexes in every neighbourhood in the city, a policy coming before Vancouver Council for final approval in September.
This would require Council to:
- approve amendments to the Kitsilano RT-7 and RT-8 District Schedules to update and expand housing choice in line with the RT-5 District Schedule;
- instruct staff to prepare and bring forward for referral to a public hearing, amendments to the RT-10 District Schedule in Kensington-Cedar Cottage to update and expand housing choice in line wit RT-11 District Schedule; and
- direct staff to advance work on amendments to the Zoning and Development Bylaw to enable duplex use in RS areas.
This has now been updated to allow for missing middle housing, which would require significant rezoning throughout the City.