Vancouver's New Housing Plan Takes Shape

If its proposals are effectively implemented, Vancouver's new housing plan would promote 'missing middle housing' and increase density near jobs and transit.

November 22, 2021, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

British Columbia residential Neighborhoods

EB Adventure Photography / Shutterstock

While it has taken years for Vancouver's city council to develop the framework for a plan to increase housing density and provide more affordable housing in the city, the Globe and Mail editorial board sees the recently released plan as a step in the right direction for a city where housing costs have doubled in the last decade. 

The board blames Vancouver's widespread single-family zoning for the rise in housing costs and argues that pushing people farther away from jobs and services in the central city could be a hindrance to Vancouver's economic growth. Some homeowners, however, are ready to fight the city's plans to  increase density in residential neighborhoods. Meanwhile, housing advocates say permitting density only on busy arterial roads, which expose residents to higher levels of pollution and noise, discriminates against low-income households.

According to the editorial, the proposal focuses on encouraging "missing middle housing" and mixed-use development, but does not yet include specific provisions for zoning changes. 

More than 50 per cent of Vancouver’s land is devoted to just 15 percent of the city’s housing. The draft plan has ideas to increase development near rapid transit and shopping areas, but it is the proposal to allow more types of housing in neighbourhoods of detached single-family homes that likely will make the biggest difference in the decades ahead.

The council expects to vote on a finalized plan in mid-2022.

Friday, October 29, 2021 in The Globe and Mail

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