Another 1,300 rental units in Vancouver last year, fourth straight year with more than 1,000

Older West End condos could be vulnerable to redevelopment under new strata rules.

Vancouver had no new market rentals built in 2008. Last year, we achieved 1,300, a significant source of lower cost housing.

Vision Vancouver’s Rental 100 program did another year of heavy lifting in 2015, adding nearly 1,300 new market rental units, making this the fourth year in a row when the city added more than 1,000 units.
These units contribute significantly to rental stock, considering that no new units were built in 2008, before the program was developed.
These units are much more affordable for lower and middle income families than a new condo, allow residents in older units to move up and make a difference on vacancy rates.
That’s not to say the rental situation is acceptable in Vancouver. Rents are rising because vacancy rates are near zero; rental stock is disappearing in other Metro municipalities; and long-awaited rental housing programs at the federal and provincial level are still a dream.
But these new rentals do make a difference and we’re committed to see another 1,000 in 2016.
Here’s the release from the office of Mayor Gregor Robertson:

VANCOUVER – 2015 was a record-breaking year for creating rental housing in Vancouver, with more than 1,300 new rental units approved by City Council in 2015.

This is the fourth year in a row the City has approved more than 1,000 new rental units, compared to zero in 2008.

“Vancouver City Council will continue to make the creation of rental housing a top priority,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Providing incentives to get new rental housing built is one tool City Hall can use to generate new homes targeted to people on modest incomes. Hopefully in the coming year we will see the BC and Federal Governments increase their efforts on affordable housing – because it will take all three levels of government to deliver the amount of affordable housing that our residents need.”

Increased interest in laneway homes in Vancouver resulted in a surge of more than 500 permits issued in 2015. Over 2,000 laneway homes have now been approved since regulations changed to allow their construction in 2009. An additional 529 permits were also issued this year for secondary suites.

These are in addition to the 1,300 secured rental housing units approved this year.

New rental housing created through the STIR and Rental 100 programs resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of new rental housing development. In 2009, only five per cent of new housing starts in Vancouver consisted of rental units; now nearly 20 per cent of housing starts are rental.

More than half of all new rental housing in Metro Vancouver is being built in the City of Vancouver.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Braeden Caley
Director of Policy and Communications
Office of the Mayor – City of Vancouver
Cell: 604-809-9951 – Email: braeden.caley@vancouver.ca