A photo of character homes

Character Home Retention Incentives Program

Heritage and character buildings are valued by many Vancouver residents, and are an important component of defining neighbourhood identity and character.

The Character Home Zoning Review was started as part of the Heritage Action Plan in response to growing public concern over the loss of character homes in the city.

Following a year and a half of public consultation, on October 3, 2017, Council approved amendments to the Zoning and Development Bylaw to introduce character retention incentives and increased opportunities for housing choice in all one-family (RS) zones across the city.

Read the staff report from the July 25, 2017 Council Agenda (2 MB)

Did you know?

A character house is a house built prior to 1940 that is considered to have heritage character merit by City staff, but is not listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

A heritage house is a house that is listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

What's happening

As part of monitoring, staff are preparing a report to Council to provide an update on the Character Home Retention Incentives program. The report is anticipated to go to Council late Spring 2019.

Retain your character house

Learn about the guidelines and eligibility requirements for retaining your character home.

Project timeline

  • Dec, 2013

    Council approve Heritage Action Plan, with Character Home Zoning Review being a key action item

  • July 25, 2017

    Council refers proposal to introduce character home retention incentives in RS zones to a public hearing

  • Oct 3, 2017

    Council approves amendments to introduce character retention incentives in all RS zones

  • We are here
  • Late Spring 2019

    Staff will provide an update to Council on the Character Home Retention Incentives program