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.

Did you know?

Character vs. heritage

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, we've prepared a memo to Council to provide an update on the Character Home Retention Incentives program.

Read the memo to Council (June 20, 2019) (6 MB)

Retain your character house

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


Contact the Development and Building Services Centre

Contact us online

Phone: 604-873-7611

Access to the Services Centre is by appointment only. Walk-in service and drop-in appointments are not available. 

Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Transit nearby

  • Broadway-City Hall SkyTrain Station
  • 99 B-line, #15, and #9 buses