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Creating rental units remains high priority for City of Vancouver

August 14 2015

Apartment building

Back-to-school season can be a tight time to find a place to rent.

More than half of Vancouver's population rent their homes, and Vancouver is experiencing historically low vacancy rates, dropping from 1 per cent in 2013 to a current 0.5 per cent.

Vancouver's population is expected to grow an average of 5,000 new residents each year, meaning an additional 1,500 rental units are needed each year.

For these reasons, the City continues to prioritize the creation and protection of rental units in Vancouver to ensure that residents are able to find suitable, affordable living spaces.

Actions we're taking to create and protect rental housing

We're reviewing the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan (Rate of Change) to further protect the existing market rental housing stock. The ODP requires one-for-one replacement of existing rental housing in new developments with six or more units, as well as a tenant relocation plan. Staff will report back to Council later this fall with recommendations.

New rental housing created through the STIR and Rental 100 programs have resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of new rental housing development. In 2009, only five per cent of new housing starts in Vancouver consisted of rental units; now nearly 20 per cent of housing starts are rental. More than half of all new rental housing in Metro Vancouver is being built in the City of Vancouver.

Since 2010, the City has approved 4,000 new market rental housing units, primarily through major rezonings, STIR, Rental 100, Cambie Corridor, and Community Plan policies. A total of 2,500 laneway and secondary rental suites has also been enabled since 2010.

The City of Vancouver's 2015-2018 Capital Plan has committed to investing an unprecedented $125 million towards affordable housing, including maintaining the existing stock and increasing the supply of rental homes.

Are you moving? Check your next home's safety and maintenance record

If you're a renter and looking to move, use our Rental Standards Database to research rental buildings for fire safety, building safety, and general maintenance issues.

Use the Rental Standards Database

Since we launched the database in 2012, building safety has improved significantly with an 80 per cent drop in the number of bylaw infractions between 2012 and 2015.