Vancouver’s latest attempt to create more housing opportunities leads us to East Side Vancouver. In the past couple of years, Vancouver has created thousands of rental homes through development incentives, zoning, rental policy, and pilot programs. Just last year, rental home construction has exceeded its expected annual growth rate. The new program “Making Home” is targeted to create homes that middle-class can afford.
Most of the housing options on the market are either apartments, townhouses or single detached houses. Official Community plans are centered around core metropolitan area allowing high density development in the center and continues to expand outwards given that they receive one. There is still an abundance of single detached homes on the market. East Side in particular, the single house averaged around 1.4 million.
The idea behind “Making Home” is to convert these single houses into multiple family dwelling on a standard lot. The downside will be a smaller living area, but a much cheaper in price. If we turn a 2300 sqft house into 4 individual units, you will still have approximately 575 sqft per home. However, the city does not permit such configuration at the current stage.
In the experimental stage, the city is hoping to have 100 homes to come onboard. This will give the opportunity for homeowner to stratify their single houses into two-middle income units. The owner will need to cover the expenses for building the new unit and for those planning to move in to one of these units will need to satisfy income requirement of $80,000.
There is not enough incentive for those who on the East Side that can already afford to purchase a single house to participate. At that income requirement, I think there are better options. Being qualify guaranteed permanently to affordable household, but it does not not specify home ownership. It is a pilot program and I hope it brings a new way to living.