The 3522 Porter St development provided rental housing units under the Short Term Incentives for Rental housing program

Creating and protecting market rental housing

Rental housing is important to meet the needs of a diverse population and is vital to a healthy economy. It also allows moderate-income households to stay in the City because household incomes of renters are typically half that of owners.

Vancouver has the tightest rental market and one of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada, which over the last three years has averaged 0.9%.

With a growing population, limited increases in income, and a limited supply of new, purpose-built rental housing in recent decades, the need for rental housing has grown significantly.

Replacement of rental in commercial areas

We want to hear your feedback to inform current policy work on extending the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan.

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Provide comments on proposed changes to the Secured Rental Policy for Low-Density Transition Areas (areas zoned RS or RT) until October 4.

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Recent updates

Council direction for additional public engagement  for Secured Rental Policy for low density transition areas

We have received new direction from City Council on October 5, 2020. The direction is for staff to conduct additional engagement on the Secured Rental Policy over the next few months as part of the Vancouver Plan. This direction means that we do not anticipate providing a report to Council until that additional engagement is complete, and implementation of the Secured Rental Policy in low density areas would be deferred to at least spring of 2021.

We will provide an update once more information is available. In the interim, we want to thank those that have participated in the process so far and hope that you will continue to provide your input.

Council update on proposed zoning changes to C-2 Commercial Areas 

Council referred the proposed zoning changed to C-2 Commercial Areas  (9 MB) back to staff until Council has considered the forthcoming report regarding amendments to the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan to include the C-2 zones, and following further public consultation through the Vancouver Plan in the fall of 2020, including at the neighbourhood level. Read more information on Council’s decision in the public hearing minutes (119 KB).

The proposed zoning changes would enable secured rental housing to be developed up to 6 storeys in select C-2 commercial areas. These changes would apply to C-2 commercial areas outside of recently approved community plans or in areas where community planning processes are currently in progress. Staff are also proposing minor changes for all new development in C-2 commercial areas city-wide. 

Staff are assessing the timeline for a potential report back to Council on the amendments to the C-2, C-2B, C-2C, and C-2C1 zoning districts for rental housing in relation Council direction and other housing work items. Further updates will be provided as they are available, and information will be posted online and sent to our mailing list

 The report focuses solely on Secured Rental Policy implementation in C-2 commercial areas. This report does not include any directions for Low-Density Transition Areas (RS and RT zones), as staff are working on further refinements to proposals for these areas prior to any report back to Council. 

Find out more about the Secured Rental Policy implementation spring 2020 engagement

In spring 2020, we engaged with the public and stakeholders on work to advance two main actions:

Previous work on the Rental Incentive Program Review

  • An amended Secured Rental Policy
  • Direction to implement new provincial authority for Residential Rental Tenure zoning
  • Changes to our Development Cost Levy (DCL) waivers for rental housing development
  • A new Below-Market Rental Housing Policy for Rezonings
  • Extension of proposal deadline for the  Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program
  • A new Energy Plus Reinvestment Pilot to support key building and energy upgrades while keeping tenants in place

For more information, see the Council report and rental review documents below:

Rental programs

We use the following programs and strategies to protect and increase the number of market rental homes in Vancouver.

In each section:

  • Learn how each program works
  • Apply to create housing through these programs
  • Get resources and forms