Making Room Housing Program

On November 15, 2018, Council voted to instruct staff to report back on December 18 with draft wording of a proposed bylaw that reverses the effects of the recent changes to allow duplexes in most RS zones.

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Adding housing choice in neighbourhoods across Vancouver

Program Overview

Read the report PDF file (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. 

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.

Early actions

At the public hearing on September 19, Council:

  • Approved the proposal to allow duplexes in most RS zones and to limit the size of lock-off units PDF file (1 MB). Enactment took place at the Council meeting on October 30, 2018.

    For information about development options in most RS zones, see our housing options brochure PDF file (785 KB)

    For permit enquiries, contact 604-873-7611.

     There was a notice of motion on the Council agenda on November 14 and 15, 2018, to reconsider and reverse the recently approved amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law approving duplexes in most RS zones.

    Following discussion, Council voted to instruct staff to report back on December 18, 2018, with draft wording of a proposed bylaw that reverses the effects of the recent changes.

    Staff were also instructed to report back on the costs of consultation and to outline time constraints and impacts the possible bylaw amendments would have on moving forward with a City-wide plan.

    Council may decide on December 18, 2018, to refer the possible by-law amendments to a public hearing. Duplexes continue to be permitted in the most RS zones.

    Staff will continue to process applications in accordance with the current bylaws, until those bylaws change or are instructed otherwise.

    Applicants should consider the timing of the submission of any permit applications due to the potential for zoning to change.

  • Postponed the public hearing for the proposed rezoning of the RT-7 & RT-8 zones to RT-5 and rezoning of the RT-10 & RT-10N zones to RT-11 & RT-11N PDF file (4.5 MB) to a public hearing following the election (specific date not yet set). When further details become available, they will be added to the webpage and distributed to our mailing list.

    To subscribe to our mailing list, enter your information in the ‘Get Updates’ box at the bottom of this page.

Public information meeting materials

September 5 information meeting on proposed zoning changes in Kitsilano

September 6 information meeting on proposed zoning changes in KCC

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.


Our focus over the next year

We are taking a city-wide approach with this program and are focusing on low-density neighbourhoods. 

With the start-up phase of the program nearing completion, we are planning on launching the next phase of the program early in 2019.

This 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
  • Develop recommendations on changes beyond duplex and report back to Council in spring 2019

"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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