Vancouver city council's voting record on market rental housing at the end of 2019

Dec 31 2019, 9:54 am

During their first full year in office, Vancouver city council considered a total of 16 market rental housing and Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program projects.

A total of 15 of these projects creating 928 rental homes combined were approved by city council; one project — 21 units of secured market townhouse rentals at 4575 Granville Street in Shaughnessy — was rejected.

But the approved totals fell far short of the municipal government’s goal of approving 2,000 secured market rental units annually for a total of 20,000 market rental units over 10 years through 2027. Since the housing strategy came into play in 2018, Vancouver has approved approximately 3,000 market rental units, well under the targets.

So where does city council stand on market rental housing?

Over the course of the year, Twitter user nm_nvan has been closely tracking the varying market rental housing voting records of all councillors and the mayor.

vancouver market rentals

Vancouver city council’s 2019 voting record on market rental housing development proposals, by the number of projects. (nm_nvan / Twitter)

Mayor Kennedy Stewart, alongside councillors Melissa De Genova and Michael Wiebe, have the best voting records, with all three elected officials approving 15 proposals. Although Wiebe, who was present for all decisions, voted against the small Shaughnessy project, his votes of approval amounted to his support for over 900 units combined — the greatest of any member on council.

Trailing slightly behind in approving market rentals were councillors Christine Boyle, Lisa Dominato, Rebecca Bligh, and Sarah Kirby-Yung.

vancouver market rentals

Vancouver city council’s 2019 voting record on market rental housing development proposals, by the number of units. (nm_nvan / Twitter)

As can be expected, the voting records of the remaining four councillors contrasted greatly, showing an ideological divide within council, with Adriane Carr’s votes against four projects translating to her disapproval of 240 units.

Councillor Colleen Hardwick voted against four projects equivalent to 296 units, although it should also be noted that she was absent for six votes that decided 326 units combined. Hardwick was involved in car collision in September 2019 that resulted in a concussion.

Councillor Pete Fry rejected seven projects throughout the year, equivalent to a total of 344 homes combined.

Finishing dead last by a wide margin in supporting market rentals was councillor Jean Swanson, who voted against 14 projects creating 771 units combined. This is a disapproval rate of 88%.

Three market rental housing projects were particularly controversial, attracting much attention and length public hearings, namely the aforementioned 4575 Granville Street, the six-storey project at 3833 Fraser Street with 121 market rental homes, and the five-storey project at 1805 Larch Street in Kitsilano with 63 rental homes, including 13 below-market units under MIRHPP and 50 market rental units.

Interestingly, not a single vote in opposition was made for any of the townhome projects considered by city council so far.

cambie corridor townhome

Vancouver city council’s 2019 voting record on Cambie Corridor townhome development proposals, by the number of projects. (nm_nvan / Twitter)