Housing Policies

Affordable Housing Choices Interim Policy: Originally implemented in 2012, this has seen several revisions by Vancouver City Council, including the recent MIRPS.

The policy also allow for up to 3 1/2 stories on a site that is with 100 m of any arterial street. In exchange, the building must either be rental, co-op, or sold at 20% less than the market rate, even by future owners. However, there is a limit of 2 within 10 blocks of each other, so if one pops up in your neighbourhood, don’t expect to see another soon. As a test policy, only 20 are allowed without seeking further permission from City Council. Find more info here.

Area Plan: These guide a neighbourhoods future; everything from the type of housing, how many residents can call it home, and what parts of the community should be preserved . Because cities are living creatures, area plans are updated every decade or two. When one comes up for review, it is a excellent opportunity to voice concerns and get involved, as your vision will literally change the area for years to come. Some neighbourhood’s area plans have not been updated since the early 90s, and literally refer to condos / row homes as “Undesirable.” Learn more from the City here.

HILs Rate: The Housing Income Limit is essentially how much you need to earn to spend only 33% of your income on rent for an average priced rental home in Vancouver, broken down by the by the number of bedrooms. This is used to help calculate social housing rates too (ie. the 2017 HILs rate on a 1 bedroom unit in Vancouver is an income of $41k a year. A 1 bedroom unit at 50% of the HILS rate would require an income of $20.5k). See here for a downloadable PDF that provides a more in depth look.

MIRP: The Moderate Income Rental housing Pilot Program is a new policy implemented to provide housing for those in the middle income. It currently allows for up to 14 stories at commercial arterial intersections (ie. Dunbar and 41st Ave), and up to 6 stories on arterial intersections, or larger sites located in single family neighbourhoods. (Ie. Arbutus and 33rd Ave). Similar to the AHCIP, it faces the same restrictions of only allowing two projects within 10 blocks, so if you already have two 3 1/2 story buildings nearby, then you won’t be seeing one of these. More detail can be found here.

Rental 100: In order to incentivize more rental housing, the COV allows for Rental 100 buildings to provide less parking (1 stall for every 2 units), and slightly more living space. In exchange, the units must be “Secured Rental.” Rental 100 because it’s 100% rental; Clever, aren’t they? Learn more here.

“Secured Rental”:  In exchange the owner of the building agrees to sign a legal binding document that commits to only renting the units for 60 years or the life of the building whichever takes longer. So if the building burns down in year 20, the landlord has to rebuild your rental home. Not to be confused with Social Housing.

Social  Housing : Homes that are completely or partially funded by public money; see the the HILs Rate for more information.

Tenant Relocation and Protection: A Vancouver policy that requires rental buildings to compensate their renters who are evicted because of redevelopment. Compensation includes a payment of up to $750 in moving fees; potentially several months of rent; The right of first refusal on homes in the new building and; A right to be relocated into their neighbourhood for a similar rent. Click here to learn more about tenant’s rights.

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