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Vancouver Making Room for More Apartments

As a response to rising rental prices and low vacancy rates, Vancouver planners have created a package of zoning and process changes to provide incentives for new multi-family developments.
November 25, 2019, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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British Columbia
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This week, the Vancouver City Council "will consider a staff report containing recommendations for enhancing the city’s policies for boosting construction of purpose-built rental housing," report Dan Fumano.

Planners organize the amended Secured Rental Policy, available in the form of a 236-page report [pdf], around ten key recommendations for increasing the supply of rental housing in the city of Vancouver. Recommendations include "supporting repairs of old buildings, making it easier to build six-storey, mixed-use buildings on main streets and allowing four-storey apartment buildings on side streets in previously low-density residential areas," according to Fumano.

Other recommendations include 'pre-zoning' to allow mixed-use projects to be built without a public hearing and rezoning process and a zoning change "to allow four-storey rental apartment or townhouse buildings in 'low-density transition areas' — defined as residential blocks within 150 metres from an arterial street."

The recommendations included in the amended Secured Rental Policy have the support of Mayor Kennedy Stewart, who campaigned on a platform of pro-housing development policies, according to Fumano. Additional coverage of the city's proposed approach to its housing affordability challenges is available in a separate article by Frances Bula.

The news about the Secured Rental Policy comes shortly after the city kicked off a long-awaited citywide planning process.

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Published on Thursday, November 21, 2019 in The Vancouver Sun
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