A coloured rendered image of a row of multiplexes

Housing options in lower density areas

Adding housing choice in neighbourhoods across Vancouver

Shifting towards the right supply of housing to meet the needs of people who live and work in Vancouver is a key objective of the Housing Vancouver Strategy.

Part of delivering the right supply is to provide more housing that falls between single-family homes and higher density apartments, often referred to as “missing middle” housing.

Adding housing choice across the city in our lower-density neighbourhoods is part of the effort to create more complete neighbourhoods; a goal emerging from work on the Vancouver Plan.

What's happeningMultiplexes

On January 26, 2022, Council passed motion B.3 (Making Home: Housing For All of Us) asking staff to investigate allowing up to six units on a lot in lower density areas.

This year, staff will examine technical details of the multiplex concept, consult with industry and the public, and consider where and how this new housing option could be introduced in lower density areas. A draft proposal will be shared in late 2022, and future Council report will summarize the results of this work and recommend changes to the Zoning and Development By-Law for consideration by Council at a Public Hearing.

The soonest a decision will be made by Council would be is early 2023. Until a decision is made by Council, we are unable to accept applications for new multiplexes.

Learn more about multiplexes

What can be built in most single-family (RS) zones today

In most lower density areas, the following housing options currently exist.

One-family dwelling

With or without optional secondary rental suite: 0.7 FSR*.

Laneway house

Additional rental option in conjunction with a one-family dwelling: 0.16 FSR.

Character retention

Character house retention with infill (an additional building): 0.85 FSR total.


Two ownership units at 0.7 FSR plus a secondary suite or lock-off unit with each half duplex. (Note: Duplexes are not an option in RS-3 or RS-3A)

*Floor space ratio (FSR) is a measurement of the floor area of a building relative to the area of the site it is built on. FSR is used to describe the size of a building.

For permit enquiries, contact the Development and Building Services Centre online.

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Other work underway

Other work related to creating more housing choice includes exploring low-carbon housing options as part of the Climate Emergency Response (609 KB)