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City Approves More Housing for ‘Missing Middle’ in Single Family Neighbourhoods

The City of Vancouver just released news on approving more housing for ‘missing middle’ in single family neighbourhoods.

Changes will deliver more duplexes, coach houses, laneways in Mount Pleasant, Grandview-Woodland, Arbutus, Dunbar and Kerrisdale

October 3, 2017 (Vancouver, BC) – Mayor Robertson and Council have approved zoning changes that will see more housing options for people who live and work in Vancouver in the city’s single-family neighbourhoods: Mount Pleasant, Grandview-Woodland, Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Arbutus Ridge. The changes provide new ownership and rental opportunities, densifying for duplexes, coach homes, laneway and other infill options geared to renters earning $30,000 to $80,000 and couples and families earning more than $80,000.

“Council is focused on approving the right mix of new housing that’s connected to local residents’ needs and incomes, upholding the principle that ‘affordable’ means spending no more than 30 per cent of your household income on your home,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These new zoning changes can potentially help deliver thousands of new homes across the city – the type of housing I’ve been hearing loud and clear that people want: town, row, coach and laneway homes to rent and own. Ultimately, I hope these changes can bring young people and families back into neighbourhoods they currently can’t afford to live.”

  • Affecting 4,800 properties in Mount Pleasant and Grandview-Woodland (RT zones), home owners are now able to boost both home ownership and rental options by:
    Building laneway homes (for rental),
  • Increasing the number of homes allowed on a 33’ lot from two to three,
  • Introducing a new detached form of duplex that allows for two separate houses on a lot, with a larger house in the front and a smaller house in the lane, and
  • Building 4plexes on large lots.

Additionally, Council enabled new changes for more housing options into 1,500 acres of single-family zoned lots (RS zones) across Vancouver – an area 1.5x the size of Stanley Park – including Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Arbutus Ridge where the population of children and families has been dropping. New incentives for approximately 12,000 pre-1940s character homes mean owners can densify with coach houses and other ownership options, while retaining the character home. Currently, these neighbourhoods do not allow for coach houses and other stratified housing.

  • The proposed policies are part of the City’s bigger Housing Vancouver Plan, which looks to deliver the right supply of housing to match local needs and incomes. The City’s Housing Vancouver Plan is a culmination of several initiatives from the City that tackles the housing affordability crisis, including:
  • Resetting housing targets to be geared to income bands to deliver a more appropriate supply of housing that meets local needs and incomes;
  • Investing $80M in the 2017 Capital Plan for affordable housing —the most ever;
  • Approving a record number of new rental homes;
  • Bringing in Canada’s first Empty Homes Tax;
  • Proposing regulating short-term rentals, like Airbnb;
  • Pursuing modular housing on city-owned sites;
  • Offering 20 sites of City-owned land worth $250 Million to senior governments to use for affordable housing;
  • Increasing family home requirements in new housing projects to 35%; and
  • Providing four City-owned sites to enable Vancouver’s first Community Land Trust
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