Secured Rental Policy in low-density transition areas

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Rental housing is important to meet the needs of our diverse population and is vital to a healthy economy. With a growing population and one of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada, the need for rental housing is increasing across the city.

The City has had a policy in place supporting rezoning for new townhouse and apartment rental buildings in areas zoned for single family or duplex (RS or RT zones) since 2012. The rezoning process was lengthy, complex, and uncertain, and only a few projects have been built.

To encourage more secured rental housing, improve livability and address climate change, Council updated the policy in 2019. It is now part of the Secured Rental Policy. To implement the policy we are developing new rental zones. These rental zones will provide standard requirements for new rental housing, simplify the rezoning process and provide more certainty regarding what type of housing can be built in low-density areas.

In March 2020 we shared information about the policy and provided an opportunity for comment on the new rental zones. Since then, we have been considering the comments received and completing further technical work. We are now proposing some changes to Secured Rental Policy and have added more detail to the new rental zones. As part of the process we are providing an opportunity for the public and industry stakeholders to review and comment.

What is secured rental housing?

This type of housing is secured as rental through a legal agreement that ensures it cannot be converted to a condo or strata unit. Apartment buildings are the most common form of secured rental housing.

Other types of rental housing, such as a rented basement suite or condo unit, are less secure. Owners can evict tenants to move in, and tenants are often forced to move when the unit is bought or sold.

Rental housing is important to meet the needs of our diverse population and is vital to a healthy economy. With a growing population and one of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada, the need for rental housing is increasing across the city.

The City has had a policy in place supporting rezoning for new townhouse and apartment rental buildings in areas zoned for single family or duplex (RS or RT zones) since 2012. The rezoning process was lengthy, complex, and uncertain, and only a few projects have been built.

To encourage more secured rental housing, improve livability and address climate change, Council updated the policy in 2019. It is now part of the Secured Rental Policy. To implement the policy we are developing new rental zones. These rental zones will provide standard requirements for new rental housing, simplify the rezoning process and provide more certainty regarding what type of housing can be built in low-density areas.

In March 2020 we shared information about the policy and provided an opportunity for comment on the new rental zones. Since then, we have been considering the comments received and completing further technical work. We are now proposing some changes to Secured Rental Policy and have added more detail to the new rental zones. As part of the process we are providing an opportunity for the public and industry stakeholders to review and comment.

What is secured rental housing?

This type of housing is secured as rental through a legal agreement that ensures it cannot be converted to a condo or strata unit. Apartment buildings are the most common form of secured rental housing.

Other types of rental housing, such as a rented basement suite or condo unit, are less secure. Owners can evict tenants to move in, and tenants are often forced to move when the unit is bought or sold.

If you have questions, we’re happy to answer them. The Q&A will be open from July 10 to October 4, 2020. We will do our best to respond within 5 business days.    

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