Description

City council endorses the Making Room Housing Program and the Affordable Housing Delivery and Financial Strategy (pdf) on June 20, 2018.

Making Room

This program aims to “transform”  low-density neighbourhoods by allowing duplexes in most RS (single family) zones and amends rules to the laneway housing program. Denser housing forms, such as triplexes, four-plexes and apartments will be examined later.

Affordable Housing Delivery and Financial Strategy (2018-2017)

The strategy aims to deliver affordable housing across the income spectrum, with a goal of 12,000 units of social and supporting housing (including co-ops) using the city’s three primary delivery streams for social and supportive housing: city land, inclusionary zoning (additional density of projects with a certain amount of social housing) and support for non-profit projects.

Significance

Making Room

A key objective of the Housing Vancouver Strategy, the Making Room program addresses a need for new ground-oriented homes by adding housing options in low-density areas city-wide, giving more opportunities for people to live in neighbourhoods other than downtown or along a corridor. The goal of Making Room is to provide greater housing choices within neighbourhoods for seniors, families and other households wanting housing in the “missing middle” between single-family houses and higher-density homes.

Affordable Housing Delivery and Financial Strategy

City staff said the Affordable Housing Delivery and Financial Strategy helps the city deliver social and supportive housing outlined in the Housing Vancouver strategy. It looks to new financial partnerships, as well as those with senior governments, to deliver more affordable housing in Vancouver, to establish a land acquisition strategy to secure city land for new social and supportive housing and to create a new Social Purpose Real Estate Program combining development incentives and capital grants to non-profit and co-op housing societies as well as faith-based organizations. Revenue from the Empty Homes Tax to support affordable housing initiatives is also being considered.

A key objective of the Housing Vancouver Strategy, the Making Room program addresses a need for new ground-oriented homes by adding housing options in low-density areas city-wide, giving more opportunities for people to live in neighbourhoods other than downtown or along a corridor. The goal of Making Room is to provide greater housing choices within neighbourhoods for seniors, families and other households wanting housing in the “missing middle” between single-family houses and higher-density homes.

Background

The Housing Vancouver Strategy, adopted November, 2017, “resets” council’s 2012 10-year housing strategy by revising targets for the entire housing continuum. Its three-year action plan aims to ensure adequate housing supply for the diversity of incomes in the city.

Its three core principles are to create the “right supply” of housing while addressing speculation; retain the existing rental stock; and ensure support for vulnerable residents. The two key documents of Housing Vancouver are a three-year action plan and the Affordable Housing Delivery and Financial Strategy.

The Housing Vancouver Strategy’s 110+ actions aim to shift toward production of more rental housing; address speculation; protect existing affordable housing; align city processes with housing targets; increase support and protections for renters and the homeless; and renew the city’s commitment to partnerships for affordable housing.

It also looks to increase housing in low-density areas, replace half of the single-room occupancy stock, reduce homelessness by 50 per cent, address housing needs of the city’s indigenous residents, maintain the 2016 census share of low- and moderate-income renters and do a rezoning review to determine ways of increasing building forms off arterial streets.

Sources