OPINION: Housing Vancouver project provides affordable homes for locals

Gregor Robertson  
Photo by Chandra Bodalia


Mayor of Vancouver


AT Vancouver City Council this week, we proposed the biggest affordable housing boom in Vancouver’s history.  The Housing Vancouver proposal puts local people and incomes first and takes action today to deal with Vancouver’s housing crisis.

The plan aims to create 72,000 new homes that are affordable for people who live and work in Vancouver. Vancouver doesn’t just need supply, it needs the right kind of supply local people on local incomes can afford. The City is doubling down on affordable housing backed by the principle that no one should spend more than 30 per cent of their income on their home. We’re putting a big focus on rental housing and prioritizing innovative ideas like this pilot project that will ramp up the City’s delivery of affordable housing for renters across the spectrum.

To guarantee affordability – benchmarked by the City at no more than 30% of household income spent on housing – rents will be directly connected to tenants’ incomes, between $30,000 and $80,000 per year.  Projects that rents for the new, mandated affordable rental homes could range from:

  • $850-$1,000 for a studio,
  • $1250-$1500 for a one bedroom, and
  • $1700- $2100 for a two bedroom.

The new approach is part of the City’s update to the Housing Vancouver strategy – the City’s new way to deliver the right supply of housing to match local needs and incomes The City is exploring developing a new pilot program to expand this approach, and if successful, the pilot could be expanded city-wide to provide potentially thousands more mandated affordable rental homes.

Housing Vancouver is a culmination of several initiatives from the City that tackles the housing affordability crisis, including:

  • Re-setting 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

For more information, visit www.vancouver.ca/housing