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Record number of new homes created in Vancouver over the last two years

Vancouver continues to lead the region in the creation of new homes.

I'm pleased to see that solid progress is being made less than two years into the housing strategy.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart

April 2 2019 –

Two years into the ambitious Housing Vancouver strategy, we are making steady progress towards delivering 72,000 new housing units by 2027.

With an emphasis on creating more homes that better meet residents' needs, we have approved 15,404 units in the last two years, including:

  • 3,640 social and supportive homes
  • 1,300  laneway homes
  • 1,851 purpose-built rental homes
  • 8,338 condominiums
  • 275 townhouses

"I'm pleased to see that solid progress is being made less than two years into the housing strategy," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. "The report shows approvals for several types of housing are at an all-time high but are also where we need to work harder to create more affordable options - especially for minimum and low-wage households."

Over half of all new housing units approved in 2018 were family-sized, which will provide two- and three-bedroom units as part of a dedicated program to encourage larger family-oriented apartments and townhomes.

Housing Vancouver Annual Progress Report

The Housing Vancouver Annual Progress Report presented to City Council today also showed that 2018 had the highest level of housing completions in the past decade.

More than 930 social and supportive homes and over 1,400 purpose-built market rental homes were built in 2018 alone, well above the 2017 number of 750 for those two types combined.

"Overall we're moving towards the 10-year Housing Vancouver targets, with approvals and completions for social and supportive housing, family housing, laneways and market condominiums well above the annual targets," said Gil Kelley, General Manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability.

Areas identified in the report where more focus is required include purpose-built rental for all income levels, and in particular, more housing options for residents earning less than $50,000 per year.

"Options we're pursuing include continuing to enhance our rental incentive programs, looking at how and where to introduce rental-only zoning, and continuing to work with other levels of government to encourage rental homes that are affordable to residents earning less than $50,000 per year, including those with very low incomes," said Kelley.

Housing highlights from 2018

  • 404 units of temporary modular housing were opened and tenanted, with a further 202 opened in early 2019
  • Over 900 non-market rental homes expedited through the SHORT pilot program
  • Approving 216 Indigenous Society-owned or operated social housing units, contributing to the target of a minimum of 600-700 homes by 2022
  • Expanded protection for renters with new staff to support renter advocacy and services, and an enhanced Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan
  • 20 proposals reviewed and four in application under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program, which supports the development of rental units for individuals and families earning between $30,000 and $80,000 annually
  • $38M in revenue announced from first year of the Empty Homes Tax
  • Creating the $2 billion dollar Vancouver Affordable Housing Endowment Fund, intended to transform how non-market and affordable housing is delivered across Vancouver
  • Approving the Cambie Corridor Phase 3 Plan, which could deliver 32,000 homes, including 5,400 rental homes and 2,800 units of social housing
  • Issuing over 3,100 short-term rental business licences, with a high degree of compliance achieved through education, licensing and enforcement

The 2019 Progress Report Dashboard highlights progress towards the Housing Vancouver targets across multiple areas.

View the report dashboard 

The Annual Data Book is a comprehensive public resource on housing market and affordability data.

View the in-depth data

Background

Housing Vancouver is the 10-year housing strategy for the City of Vancouver to foster a diverse, vibrant community. The strategy is based on three core principles: retaining the diversity of incomes in the city; shifting current housing production toward rental housing in order to meet the greatest need; and setting ambitious targets for housing for very low-income households, which are achievable with coordinated action from the City and partners.

These principles are enacted through housing targets designed to meet the needs of Vancouverites of all incomes, with a three-year action plan that includes over 110 actions.

Key priorities

  • Creating 72,000 housing units over the next 10 years to shift to the "right supply"
  • Prioritizing the creation of rental housing to meet the greatest need. Two-thirds of new homes will be rental, with 20,000 purpose-built market rental units over the next 10 years
  • Seeking to retain housing diversity, with nearly 50 per cent of homes for households earning less than $80,000 per year
  • Setting the ambitious target of 12,000 social and supportive housing units, to respond to households with a range of incomes, including very low incomes or those who are at risk of homelessness
  • Putting an emphasis on family housing, with approximately 40% of new homes to be suitable for families
  • Enabling more types of housing suitable for families and downsizing seniors, with 10,000 units targeted that include townhouses, row houses, and infill housing

In order to track the progress of Housing Vancouver over the next 10 years, City staff have developed the Housing Vancouver Data Book. The Data Book provides a comprehensive resource on data and indicators related to housing demand, supply, and affordability in Vancouver.