New rental housing measures were approved by Vancouver City Council this week. I haven’t gone through the policies in the detail (you can do that here), but they aim to increase rental housing supply by doing things such as “pre-zoning” for 6-storeys on main streets and by allowing rental apartments to be built on some side streets (up to 150m away from arterial roads).
Here’s an excerpt from the staff report:
Enabling new rental housing in all neighbourhoods would support an increase in supply and choice. The incentive programs have concentrated secured market rental development in selected neighbourhoods and along arterial streets. This has been effective at creating larger multi-unit projects, but has created an inequitable environment, where renters have limited housing choice. Expanding program coverage into low density areas, areas zoned for single detached housing and non-arterial locations to allow for a greater mix of structure types and densities (e.g. townhouses, small apartment buildings) are important considerations moving forward.
It is yet another data point for what I wrote about here — the loosening of single-family zoning. Turns out, it can be difficult to meet the demand for new housing when you set aside a large part — or most — of your land for low-rise single-family homes. And there seems to be growing acknowledgement of that on the part of cities.