The City of Vancouver is planning to extend its Rental Housing Stock ODP (RHS ODP) policy. The proposed amendments will be presented to City Council for review and a public hearing will take place on February 9th, 2021.. The proposed amendments will be presented to City Council for review and a public hearing will take place on February 9th, 2021.
The RHS ODP policy requires one-for-one replacement of existing rental housing units in developments of three or more units in multi-family apartment areas (RM, FM, and CD1 zones). The first rental regulation protection came in place was in 1989. Referring to the graph below, the number of rental units in RHS ODP area were severe and the city established this policy to preserve rental housing. RHS ODP area covers 77% of the existing purpose-built rental housing stock.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) latest report shows the rental situation is only slightly improved despite all the added rental units that were built every year. When the COVID is over, we expect more people to return to Vancouver and the situation will be dire. Increasing rental units is a top priority, however we will need to protect old rental units too.
The proposed amendment will include commercial areas zoned C-2, C-2B, C2-C and C-2C1 to the areas covered by the RHS ODP. Number of rental units in C-2 zoning approximates to 3,050 rental units representing 4% of City’s purpose-built rental stock. The added C-2 areas are on city’s main streets such as Kingsway, West Broadway, 49th Avenue, Main Street, Clark, Fraser Street and Hastings. These are having redevelopment potential or features old building that require renewal or redevelopment.
Vancouver is undergoing rapid redevelopment according to the city’s official community plan. RHS ODP is becoming more and more important to preserve rental units. The original RHS ODP map covers majority of the OCP initiated area such as Cambie Corridor, Downtown, Marpole, Fairview and more. Redevelopments in this area will need to replace it with new secured rental units. This policy will encourage developer to consider a purpose-built rental when planning because the requirement to replace existing rental with combination of rental development incentives.
Over the past years, rental units in commercial zoning have increased more than the number being demolished. The new policy will prevent losing more rental unit at the same time promote more rental units being built.
A public hearing will take place on February 9th, 2021, everyone is welcome to share your opinion!