Planning Vancouver Together: Housing

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Housing is a key priority for Planning Vancouver Together; a long-term planning initiative to create a city-wide plan to help guide community recovery and long-term planning on these traditional unceded lands we call Vancouver. We’ve heard a lot from you through this process and in recent years about your housing experiences and challenges; we want to take this opportunity to go deeper, in order to move towards a more equitable and resilient housing system.

From November 2019 to August 2020, you helped us to understand your challenges and identify what matters most to you and your communities. We heard that rising unaffordability, housing insecurity, and homelessness are serious challenges facing Vancouver residents.

In October 2020, 10 provisional goals were endorsed by City Council to help guide us towards the future we want to become. Goal #5 of the Vancouver Plan is to Develop an Affordable City with Diverse and Secure Housing for every resident that they can afford with 30% or less of their household income.

In the second phase of public engagement to develop the Vancouver Plan, we are taking a focused approach and want to engage more deeply with you on your housing experience and ideas for a more resilient, affordable and healthy housing system. Share your thoughts/questions below!

Please visit the Planning Vancouver Together page for more engagement opportunities on the development of the Vancouver Plan.

*New* Housing Profiles Engagement

To build an inclusive, equitable housing system, we need to understand what you and your community need. These draft profiles are based on previous engagement and analysis done through other city strategies and plans, including Housing Vancouver, the Homeless Count, and the first phase of the Vancouver Plan. In taking an intersectional, equity based approach, we want to better understand the housing needs and experiences of specific populations. New profiles will be posted in the coming weeks. This will allow us to work towards a better housing system that meets the needs of Vancouver’s residents, both now and into the future.

These housing profiles are working documents intended to better highlight and explore housing needs, trends and questions for different population groups. We want to hear from you— What did we get right? What did we get wrong? What are we missing?

Your feedback will help to develop key housing policy directions for the citywide Vancouver Plan. Fill out the comment form below!

Housing is a key priority for Planning Vancouver Together; a long-term planning initiative to create a city-wide plan to help guide community recovery and long-term planning on these traditional unceded lands we call Vancouver. We’ve heard a lot from you through this process and in recent years about your housing experiences and challenges; we want to take this opportunity to go deeper, in order to move towards a more equitable and resilient housing system.

From November 2019 to August 2020, you helped us to understand your challenges and identify what matters most to you and your communities. We heard that rising unaffordability, housing insecurity, and homelessness are serious challenges facing Vancouver residents.

In October 2020, 10 provisional goals were endorsed by City Council to help guide us towards the future we want to become. Goal #5 of the Vancouver Plan is to Develop an Affordable City with Diverse and Secure Housing for every resident that they can afford with 30% or less of their household income.

In the second phase of public engagement to develop the Vancouver Plan, we are taking a focused approach and want to engage more deeply with you on your housing experience and ideas for a more resilient, affordable and healthy housing system. Share your thoughts/questions below!

Please visit the Planning Vancouver Together page for more engagement opportunities on the development of the Vancouver Plan.

*New* Housing Profiles Engagement

To build an inclusive, equitable housing system, we need to understand what you and your community need. These draft profiles are based on previous engagement and analysis done through other city strategies and plans, including Housing Vancouver, the Homeless Count, and the first phase of the Vancouver Plan. In taking an intersectional, equity based approach, we want to better understand the housing needs and experiences of specific populations. New profiles will be posted in the coming weeks. This will allow us to work towards a better housing system that meets the needs of Vancouver’s residents, both now and into the future.

These housing profiles are working documents intended to better highlight and explore housing needs, trends and questions for different population groups. We want to hear from you— What did we get right? What did we get wrong? What are we missing?

Your feedback will help to develop key housing policy directions for the citywide Vancouver Plan. Fill out the comment form below!

  • Streamlining Rental: Making it easier to build secure rental housing in more neighbourhoods

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    The City is considering zoning changes to streamline the development process to make it easier to build secure rental housing in more neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Streamlining Rental brings an initial layer of change in Vancouver by consolidating, updating and strengthening rental incentive policies that have been in place in Vancouver for over a decade.

    Streamlining Rental will help advance a number of the key goals identified in the Planning Vancouver Together Process to develop a long-term, strategic Vancouver Plan. These include becoming an affordable city with diverse and secure housing, becoming a sustainable and carbon neutral city with less dependency on private vehicles and creating more complete, connected neighbourhoods.

    To learn more about the proposed actions, attend a virtual information session, and share your feedback via a survey, visit Shapeyourcity.ca/rental-rz.

  • Housing Profiles Engagement

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    To build an inclusive, equitable housing system, we need to understand what you and your community need. These draft profiles are based on previous engagement and analysis done through other city strategies and plans, including Housing Vancouver, the Homeless Count, and the first phase of the Vancouver Plan. In taking an intersectional, equity-based approach, we want to better understand the needs and experiences of specific populations. This will allow us to work towards a better housing system that meets the needs of Vancouver’s residents, both now and into the future.

    These housing profiles are working documents intended to better highlight and explore housing needs, trends and questions for different population groups. We want to hear from you — What did we get right? What did we get wrong? What are we missing?

    We know that every person has intersecting identities and no one profile will describe you. Please provide feedback on any and all profiles that relate to you. New profiles will be posted in the coming weeks. Your feedback will help to develop key housing policy directions for the citywide Vancouver Plan. We invite you to share your thoughts and feedback on the comment form.


  • Background and resources

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    We know the existing housing system does not work for many Vancouver residents and that these vulnerabilities in our system were further exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These vulnerabilities include:

    • Persistent homelessness – as of the 2020 Homeless Count, completed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 2,000 people in Vancouver are without a home. These residents often have unsafe living conditions and limited shelter options. The results of the Count continue to highlight the long-term impacts of systemic racism and colonialism, particularly on Indigenous and Black people and how these impacts contribute to homelessness, poverty and exclusion. While the reasons people fall into homelessness can be complex, the pathway out of homelessness is straight forward – people need access to income, housing, community, connection and support services.
    • Renter instability - Vancouver is a city of renters with 53% of households renting and 76% of net new households renting. However, we’ve heard that renters often feel they have few choices of where in the city and in what type of housing they are able to live. With not enough secure purpose-built rental building options, some renters live in less secure secondary rental, such as rented condos and basement suites. Many renters also fear being displaced due to evictions, rising rents, lack of affordable housing choices or redevelopment pressures. These pressures have been exacerbated for many, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • High demand for social and secured rental housing – With very high costs of ownership and rents rising faster than local incomes, there is an increased demand for social and co-op housing, as well as affordable rental housing. There are over 4,000 people on the waitlist for social housing in the City of Vancouver and over one third of renter households spend more than 30% of their income on rent. Historically, new housing in the City has not been the “Right Supply” – homes our residents need and can afford. Changes to Federal programs in the 1960s and 1970s meant few purpose-built rental and social housing buildings have been built since then, up until about five years ago. As a result, most of today’s affordable housing stock is both in high demand and in need of renewal.

    We know that we can’t go back to “business as usual” once the COVID-19 pandemic ends. We need to address these significant inequities in our housing system and move toward a more resilient future. Our housing system is complex, and is influenced by municipal, Provincial and Federal powers and funding. We need to work with our partners, including other levels of government, the community housing sector, as well as the private sector, to address these systemic vulnerabilities.

    Here are some resources from the City and its partners, which give further background and research, as well as plans and policies in place.