Vancouver city councillors are going to vote on a proposal by the city next Wednesday that sets out a minimum number of family-sized apartment units each new development must contain.
The report calls for 35% of all residential units to contain two or more bedrooms, 25% must be two bedrooms, while 10% must be three or more bedrooms.
Around 60% of Vancouver’s housing stock now comes from apartment units, notes the report, and current family unit policies are failing to meet the increased demand. According to guidelines laid out in 1992, only 25% of units in new developments are currently required to be family-sized.
“Over the last 20 years, Vancouver has seen a steady decline in the share of homes with three bedrooms resulting in a polarization of the housing stock by bedroom counts,” reads the report.
For purpose-built rental units, the situation is even more tenuous, says the city, since most of the existing stock was constructed between 1950 and 1980 when families with children were less likely to live in apartments.
The city consulted with various family-serving organizations in June on the proposed changes to the 1992 guidelines, and found that most of those surveyed thought there was an inadequate supply of multi-bedroom family units in the city. Beyond that, nearly 90% found it difficult to find two and three bedroom apartments that are suitable for families.
If the policy is approved next week, it would apply to all new rezoning applications.