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Vancouver leads the Metro region in housing supply

July 22 2016 First half of 2016 sees extreme high housing starts

Apartment building

It is expected that Vancouver will deliver over 22% of the total housing starts in Metro Vancouver in 2016, as well as almost half of the rental housing supply in the region.

Our city has capacity for at least 55,700 new units as approved in our recent official development plans and community plans, and we continue to offer 20 City sites to the Provincial and Federal governments that could be used to develop 3,500 affordable homes.

Housing supply is at record levels

Building permit values for the first half of 2016 have exceeded 2015's extreme high levels. As of July 1, 2016, we issued $1.4 billion in building permits, compared to $1.3 billion at this time in 2015, a sign of Vancouver's leading economic growth.

According to CMHC data:

  • In the first six months of 2016 Vancouver has already seen 5,800 residential units started, surpassing the total starts for 2015
  • Over the last five years Vancouver delivered approximately 5,000 residential units every year, which is on average 1,500 more per year than projected through the commitment to the Regional Growth Strategy

This data demonstrates that new housing supply is at record levels and exemplifies the fact that we are approving significant new housing stock.

We estimate a future supply of approximately 55,700 housing units with:

  • 28,000 units are in the pipeline of development/building applications
  • 27,700 units are awaiting the development industry to act on

While CMHC housing starts data shows Vancouver's annual starts ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 per year, we are actually issuing building permits for about 6,700 units per year.

How we have increased the diversity of housing options

We have taken a number of steps through new policy and projects to increase the diversity of housing options for residents:

  • Approved requirement of family housing from 25% to 35% in all new multi-family buildings
  • Pursued temporary modular housing on City-owned sites for affordable housing
  • Increased lowrise townhomes and stacked rowhouses through the Cambie Corridor and Marpole Community plans
  • Approved an Affordable Home Ownership pilot program, the first of its kind in Vancouver
  • Expanded opportunities for laneway homes into all residential neighborhoods across the city

Affordable housing

Since 2011, we have enabled over 12,000 units of affordable housing by working with partners and creating new policies - a third of which has been completed and another third is currently under construction.

We have:

  • Dedicated $85 million in the 2015-2018 Capital Plan to create more affordable housing options for our residents; however we recognize that more tools are needed to further increase affordability in Vancouver
  • Committed to protecting existing housing stock through enforcing rate of change and protecting tenants with an enhanced tenant relocation package that was approved by Council in December 2015