Kids in swimming pool in Vancouver

Creating housing options for families in Vancouver

Families with children are key to a diverse and vibrant society. Making sure we have the right kinds of housing to support families is important to the success of the city.

We're taking action to ensure new housing meets the needs of families. The Family Room: Housing Mix Policy for Rezoning Projects (290 KB), requires that new residential developments that are rezoned include a certain percentage of family-sized units such as two and three bedroom units.

The High Density Housing for Families with Children Guidelines (144 KB) influences the design of new projects by providing guidance on design features that support livable units and buildings for families, for example, the inclusion of children’s play areas.

Both the policy and guidelines are currently being reviewed and modernized to help support better housing options for families in Vancouver.

Family Room: Housing mix policy for rezoning projects

The Family Room: Housing Mix Policy for Rezoning Projects (2016)  (290KB) provides the requirements and targets for family units in rezoning projects for residential strata housing and secured market rental housing.

This policy raised the targets for family units (units with two or more bedrooms) in rezoning projects from 25 to 35% to ensure Vancouver’s housing stock makes room for families.

High-density housing for families with children

The High-Density Housing for Families with Children Guidelines  (144 KB), published in 1992, provide direction on project planning, project design, unit design, and amenity areas to improve the livability of high density housing for families with children.

Review of family housing policy and guidelines

As part of the Housing Vancouver strategy: Three-year action plan (2018-2020), the family housing policy and guidelines are being reviewed and modernized to improve the supply of family housing and the living experience of families with children at high density.

The update will seek to address today’s family housing design and supply challenges, taking into account the impact of any new requirements on the cost of family homes.


We’ve developed a new framework for tracking and reporting on progress toward the Housing Vancouver targets, which includes data on the supply, affordability, and distribution of family housing.

Relevant feedback from the recent Housing Vancouver and Family Room Policy consultations has been collated and reviewed.

  • Read the summary of previous consultations

An initial consultation targeted at families living in high density areas was undertaken over spring and summer 2018 to understand the needs, values, preferences, and issues of families in Vancouver.

Next steps

We are currently evaluating policy and guidelines approaches in response to our consultation and the Housing Vancouver Strategy. The intent of the new approach is to improve affordability, flexibility, and livability of family units.

It is anticipated that the preferred policy options will be tested through public and stakeholder consultation in summer 2019.

The target is to report the updated policy and guideline documents to City Council in winter 2019 for consideration.

Healthy City Strategy

The Healthy City Strategy a long-term, integrated plan for healthier people, places, and planet.

Hey Neighbour

Hey Neighbour! aims to increase our understanding of the connection between sociability and well-being through multi-unit buildings.


We're creating a city of communities that cares about its people, environment, and opportunities to live, work, and prosper.