Affordable Housing Policy
"We can expect Metro Vancouver municipalities to forge forward with policy and bylaws to not only protect existing affordable housing stock but to incentivize the development of it" - Ben Williams

We’ve read the local headlines. We’ve seen the supply/demand modeling. We’ve listened to “foreign investor” fear mongering.  We’ve watched the twittersphere take #DontHave1Million to viral levels. So what happens now? How are local governments responding, and how is policy around affordability going to affect multi-family development in the future?

 

November 3, 2015 The District of North Vancouver presented a “Green Paper on Rental and Affordable Housing”.  Some of the policy recommendations include: discouraging redevelopment of existing rental and strata outside of town centre, 1.1 rental replacement adjustments to ensure replacement is more affordable housing, and priority processing of applications with new market rental housing.

 

November 3, 2015 The City of North Vancouver reported on their “Housing Action Plan” which suggests improvements to their existing policy including: family friendly housing policy requiring a min % of units to be 3 plus in new multi-unit residential developments, removing owner occupancy bylaw for secondary suites, and creating flexible configurations for 2 accessory units on Residential Level 1 lots.

 

November 4, 2015 Port Moody staff presented Council with a preliminary report on “Affordable Housing Policies and Guidelines” that will have the objective of requiring affordable housing units or cash-in-lieu contributions for new multi-family developments.  The policy will also address: strata conversion, rental replacement, and tenant relocation.

 

November 9, 2015 Burnaby staff presented a report titled: “Growth Management and Housing Policies in Burnaby” . This report, it would appear, has been requested specifically in response to recent criticism directed at Council regarding the loss of lower-market rental housing in the Metrotown area and can be found HERE on page 54 of the Agenda.

 

Coquitlam has already put together a draft of its“Housing Affordability Strategy” (HAS) and is set for Council to adopt in early 2016. A link to the draft can be found HERE.

 

London Pacific’s Ben Williams, commented that, “Traditionally affordable housing was a mandate for senior levels of government and it is possible that the new Federal government will embrace this responsibility, but in the meantime, we can expect Metro Vancouver municipalities to forge forward with policy and bylaws to not only protect existing affordable housing stock but to incentivize the development of it in the form of rental housing.”