Kids in swimming pool in Vancouver

Creating housing options for families in Vancouver

Families are key to a growing economy and vibrant society. Making sure we have the right kinds of housing for them is important for keeping families in Vancouver and attracting more families to live here. 

We’re taking action to increase and improve the supply of family homes. In 2016, City Council approved the Housing Mix Policy for Rezoning Projects. This policy raised the requirements and 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.

As the next step in our work, we’re now updating the guidelines for designing apartments so we can help support better family housing options.

Family Room: Apartment design guidelines

Since publishing the High-density housing for families with children guidelines  (144 KB) in 1992, the housing market and how people live in Vancouver has changed significantly. Housing costs and lifestyle choices have led to more families living in apartments.

Today’s families face different housing challenges that weren’t anticipated in the original guidelines, in particular the need for more 2 and 3 bedroom units and balancing affordability and liveability in smaller units.  

We’re modernizing the guidelines to improve the livability of family units, taking into account the impact of any new requirements on the cost of family homes. We propose to name the updated guidelines "Family Room: Apartment design guidelines".


To improve affordability, flexibility, and liveability of family units, Council directed staff to review and update the high-density housing for families with children guidelines. This review will include the following steps:

  1. April to May 2018: Evaluate and refine existing policies with public consultation to understand current situations, needs, values, preferences, and issues
  2. Summer 2018: Prepare revisions to the plan and do further consultation
  3. Fall 2018: Complete recommended guideline changes and report them to City Council

Family Room: Housing mix policy for rezoning projects

The Family Room: Housing mix policy for rezoning projects  (290 KB) provides new requirements and targets for family units in rezoning projects for residential strata housing and secured market rental housing. Family units are defined as units that have two or more bedrooms.

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.