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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 per cent.

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.

Whats happening

Report to Council recommending zoning changes in C-2 commercial areas for rental housing

This report to Council  (9 MB) has been referred to a public hearing, where Council will hear from members of the public and consider any zoning changes. The report is anticipated to go to public hearing on July 23, 2020. Learn more on how to share your comments or speak at the public hearing.

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. 

 The report focuses solely on Secured Rental Policy implementation in C-2 commercial areas. This report does not include any direction 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. Additional opportunity for public comment will be available in the coming weeks.


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