Making Room Housing Program

Adding housing choice in neighbourhoods across Vancouver

Program Overview

Read the report (925 KB) that was endorsed by Council in June 2018, which provides an overview of the Making Room Housing Program. 

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.

To meet the right supply targets, we are looking at new opportunities to add housing choice across the city in our low-density neighbourhoods as a key building block of a future City-wide Plan.

The aim is to deliver housing that falls in the “missing middle”, between single-family homes and higher density apartments. This housing is 4-storeys or less in height, and includes duplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, and 3-4 storey apartments.

By making room for housing that falls in the missing middle, we can accommodate the needs of a range of households at all stages of life.

What's happening

City Plan

Council passed a motion in November 2018 requesting that staff report back in the first quarter of 2019 on scoping of a citywide plan. It is anticipated that staff will report to Council late-spring, 2019.

The Making Room program will be a key building block of the citywide plan. We will have an updated timeline and work program for the Making Room program following a Council decision on the scope and timing of the citywide plan. 

Duplex design regulations

Council has referred proposed amendments to some design regulations for duplexes in select RM, RT, and RS zones to a public hearing on April 2, 2019. The agenda will be posted online approximately one week before the hearing.

In response to concerns about the design of duplexes from residents, builders, and design practitioners, we conducted a review and identified a number of potential changes. The proposed changes encourage improved design outcomes, enhanced liveability, and greater flexibility for innovative designs to achieve objectives such as tree retention and improved accessibility, or to accommodate near zero-emissions buildings, such as Passive House. 

Read the staff report on the March 12 Council agenda for details on the proposed changes.

Early actions

Public information meeting materials

September information meetings on proposed addition of duplex use to most RS zones


Dan Garrison, Assistant Director of Housing, interviewed with CBC about what the plan entails.


Next steps

We are taking a citywide approach with this program and are focusing on low-density neighbourhoods as a key building block of a future citywide Plan. 

The next phase of the program will involve engaging with residents across the city on what they want to make room for in our low-density neighbourhoods and creating a framework for change to expand housing choice in neighbourhoods across the city.

Stay tuned for further details to be circulated to our mailing list and posted on our webpage when they become available.

Over the next year, the Making Room program will:

  • Map and research the current conditions in low-density neighbourhoods
  • Analyze new housing options and types for consideration
  • Explore ways to improve affordability
  • Engage with residents on what they want to make room for in their neighbourhoods
  • Develop principles and selection criteria to identify suitable locations for new housing options, considering factors such as proximity to transit, shopping, schools, parks, and amenities
  • Evaluate where the greatest opportunities exist for increasing housing diversity with the least impacts

"Missing middle" housing examples

By City of Vancouver


  • Triplex with infill at the lane

    By City of Vancouver

  • Duplex

    By City of Vancouver

  • Fourplex

    By City of Vancouver

  • Multiple dwelling buildings

    By City of Vancouver

  • Laneway house

    By City of Vancouver

  • Low-rise apartment

    By City of Vancouver

  • Rowhouse - entrance from the street

    By City of Vancouver

  • Townhouses

    By City of Vancouver

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