News / Vancouver

Vancouver seeks better housing data

Tracking housing currently in progress will help Vancouver keep track of affordable housing needs, councillor argues.

A new rental building at 288 E. Hastings under construction, on Mar. 30, 2017.

Jennifer Gauthier / For Metro

A new rental building at 288 E. Hastings under construction, on Mar. 30, 2017.

If your family is growing and you’ve started the search for an elusive three-bedroom rental, it might be helpful to know which under-construction developments will contain rental units, when they’ll be completed and how many bedrooms they’ll have.

Vancouverites currently don’t have an easy way to access that information, but city councillors hope that will change soon. Coun. George Affleck introduced a motion on Sept. 19 proposing to make that information public and easy to access.

The motion council ended up passing asked city staff to take a look at the best way to consolidate the data and make it accessible and include the information in a housing plan update due in November.

Inclusionary zoning has become increasingly popular — that’s when a new condo building is approved with stipulations that the developer must include a certain number of rental, below-market rental, or social housing units. Affleck said it’s currently hard to get a handle on the entire suite of affordable housing supply that is in the pipe, whether it’s enough, or the right mix.

The Rental 100 program is another program that Affleck would like to be able to better track. The program spurred the development of several purpose-built rental buildings throughout the city, but agreements to rent suites at certain rent levels expire as soon as the initial tenant moves out.

“We don’t know whether those units are affordable anymore,” Affleck said.

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