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Housing Vancouver Strategy

We are resetting the Vancouver Housing and Homelessness Strategy to focus on creating the right types of homes to meet the needs of the people who live and work in Vancouver. 

The new strategy, Housing Vancouver, will be a 10-year plan to improve housing affordability for every resident.

Vancouver will need more than three times the amount of rental homes currently being built for single residents who earn $50,000 – many of these are our young workers and students.

How we are shaping the strategy

To better understand the pressures on the current housing market and the issues local residents face, we have been listening to and learning from local partners, residents, other levels of government, and international housing experts over the last six months.

From our research and analysis, five new priorities have emerged that will help direct our new housing strategy. 

Help us form the new Housing Vancouver Strategy

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Our priorities

Set affordability targets by incomes

The current strategy sets targets by type of new housing in the city. 

To better match current housing costs to the incomes of residents, we will link our new targets to incomes and housing needs to ensure we’re creating more of the right housing supply. 

In addition, setting targets in existing housing will make sure we don’t lose affordability for people who need it today while we plan for affordability for new residents arriving in the future. 

Who is served

  • An expanding group of households who are no longer able to access the housing market


Create more of the right supply

A number of opportunities to create more rental housing near transportation hubs will help people move about easier, from home to work to play.

New housing design that better meets the needs of Vancouver families will also be considered in these areas and off busy roads.

Affordable, and the right size and location

With the right supply, we can meet the demand for affordability and help families secure the right size housing in the right location.

Using all of our rental policies, programs, and land tools, we will create more affordable rental housing. 

Who is served

  • Low- and middle-income renter households struggling with rising rents and a very low vacancy rate, and who want to live close to transit and services

Early actions

  • Explore the options for building two new rapid transit stations in central locations where large amounts of rental housing can be built.
  • Expand amenities around transit hubs to support the continued growth of emerging communities in the area.
  • Expand the Rental 100 program to provide more affordable rental housing.


Complete neighbourhoods with new housing forms

Neighbourhoods are changing in Vancouver. New kinds of housing will help make neighbourhoods vibrant with affordable and innovative new housing for families. 

This means adding homes like rowhouses, townhouses, and duplexes.

By updating our zoning, we can find ways to add density while still preserving the essence of those communities. 

Who is served

  • New and existing middle-income households, especially families, looking to live in lower density neighbourhoods, near parks and schools


Provide more City land

As the biggest owner of land in Vancouver, we will put up another offer of empty city-owned sites onto the market. 

We will deliver more homes for Vancouver residents who need it, using our development tools to deliver it as quickly, efficiently, and affordably as possible.

Who is served

  • New and existing low- and middle-income renter households – the degree of partner investment significantly affects the range of affordability delivered

Early actions

  • The Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency will take forward an additional eight City-owned sites in 2017 for developing 1,000 units of affordable housing. 
  • We will build an additional 3,800 new homes on six major city-owned properties.
  • We will continue to identify land areas for innovative housing ideas, ensuring that the land is used for residential housing. 


Prioritize affordable homes

To put affordable housing first, we will launch a one-year pilot program prioritizing planning and development processes for affordable housing.

Our goal is to speed up the production of affordable housing.

Who is served

  • Low- and middle-income renter households who will benefit from faster delivery of affordable rental housing

Early actions

  • Priority handling and approval for high-impact, low-complexity projects. 
  • Reduce timeframes by half for rezoning application through to issuing building permits.



Addressing homelessness

We have evolved our approach to addressing homelessness by strengthening our partnerships with other municipalities in the region and integrating:

  • Prevention measures to make homelessness rare
  • Interventions to ensure homelessness, when it occurs, is brief 
  • Strategies to ensure adequate income, housing, and health supports so that homelessness is a one-time occurrence

Early actions

  • Continue to provide and expand our support and services to help prevent, withstand, and overcome homelessness.   
  • Provide security and protection for all renters by preserving and prioritizing housing that is affordable, accessible, and secure ‘as homes first’ for individuals and families who need to live and work here.



How our strategy has evolved

Housing Reset Engagement Summary (2.14 MB)

Throughout 2016, we did intensive public engagement, research, and analysis to develop new ways to address housing affordability.

Council report

We have identified ways to both sharpen and increase our actions to better target housing affordability.

A Time for Ideas (22.36 KB)

Creative advisory group recommendations for new housing forms and innovative design.

Accelerating Non-Profit / City Partnerships (377.68 KB)

Creative advisory group recommendations to strengthen partnerships between the City and the non-profit housing sector.

Strategy background

The Housing and Homelessness Strategy, 2012-2021 laid out the overall direction for housing over 10 years.

Strategy backgroundHousing Reset Engagement SummaryCouncil reportA Time for IdeasAccelerating Non-Profit / City Partnerships