British Columbia

City of Vancouver set to increase housing options for families

Vancouver council will consider measures next week designed to increase the number of family homes in new strata and rental buildings.

New policy proposes 35 per cent of units in new developments must have two bedrooms or more

If approved, the housing mix policy would mandate more units for families in new strata and rental developments (Canadian Press)

Vancouver council will consider measures next week designed to increase the number of family homes in new strata and rental buildings.

New policies outlined in a staff report to council would alter the housing mix in new condos by increasing the number of two and three bedroom apartments to create more options for families.

According to an official statement from Mayor Gregor Robertson, the housing mix 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."

Under the proposal, developers would have to ensure at least 35 per cent of the apartments in a new building contain two or three bedrooms to accommodate families.

The policy would apply to rezonings city-wide and would supersede existing family housing requirements in council-approved community plans such as Joyce-Collingwood or the Cambie Corridor.

The affordability question

The NPA is critical of the new policy, and intends to question its feasibility in council next week.

"Many of these two and three bedroom units often sit empty because they can't be rented for a reasonable or affordable rate," said councilor Melissa De Genova.

De Genova says there's also nothing stopping singles and roommates from moving into these units.

"If this is truly intended as family housing, we need to make sure it's affordable, it's going to be accessible to those families, and that it's being used for the purposes it's built for," she added.

Council will meet, July 13, to vote on the proposal.