City scape of Vancouver in the fall

Density bonusing

Density bonusing, sometimes referred to as bonusing or floor area relaxations, is used as a zoning tool that permits developers to build additional floor area, in exchange for amenities and affordable housing needed by the community.

Amenities can be community centres, libraries, parks, childcare centres, affordable housing, and more.

Density bonusing allows for:

  • Base density with no density bonus
  • Additional density in exchange for providing amenities and affordable housing

News and updates

Density bonus zoning contribution review

In Fall 2022, staff began a review of density bonus zoning contributions (cash in-lieu) based on economic testing to ensure the rates are aligned with market conditions. Any changes to these rates will be brought to Council for consideration in early to mid-2023, and if approved would take effect September 30, 2023. Please refer to this website for future updates.

2022 annual inflationary adjustment

On July 7, 2022, Council approved the annual inflationary rate adjustments to Density Bonus contributions that came into effect on September 30, 2022. To view the new rates, see Table 2 in the Density Bonus Zoning Bulletin (2 MB).

Density bonus zoning contributions (cash in-lieu)

Certain zones allow for extra density, up to a specified maximum floor space ratio, in exchange for cash contributions towards amenities and affordable housing. Financial contributions are determined by the density bonus contribution rate set out under the schedule of the zoning bylaw.

View map of density bonus zones

Find information on density bonus zones and rates in the Density bonus zoning bulletin (2 MB)

Density Relaxations for Amenities (in-kind)

A number of zoning district schedules allow for relaxations of buildable market floor area (FSR) in exchange for amenities provided by applicants as on-site public benefits. This is sometimes referred to as inclusionary zoning.

Each district schedule differs in the types of amenities that are to be provided, as well as the amount of relaxation in FSR. Below are web links to all district schedules that offer density relaxations for amenities (in-kind). 

The list of district schedules above exclude density bonusing for heritage conservation as well as developments that exclusively feature non-market uses or amenities. Find any zones that include density bonusing in relation to heritage conservation

Understand and compare

DCLs vs CACs vs Density Bonusing

View a comparison chart of Development Cost Levies, Community Amenity Contributions, and Density Bonusing.

Community benefits from development

Learn about the community benefits that come with new development in our neighbourhoods.

Download guide (8MB)