The Vancouver city council might look at temporary modular housing in single-family communities as the next step in improving the market’s supply of affordable homes, should a councillor’s motion prosper.
In her four-page submission, Councillor Christine Boyle argued that Vancouver’s geographic limits mean that space for more low-cost developments is getting rapidly depleted – and the most effective solution is to reconsider some aspects of current zoning policies.
“We need more homes for low-income people and we increasingly see low-income and shelter rate homes being pressured into a smaller and smaller place in the Downtown Eastside,” Boyle told Star Vancouver.
Existing zoning bylaws allocate most of Vancouver’s land to single-family housing, which the councillor criticized as an “overly restrictive” stipulation.
Boyle proposed a re-examination of current temporary modular housing rules that only allow one person per unit, which bars families from access to this supply.
As of 2019, more than 2,200 people are homeless in Vancouver, with the figure steadily growing for the past four years.
Tight supply in the affordable housing segment has propelled intensified demand in Vancouver’s rental market, with vacancy at just 1% by the end of last year.
The latest edition of IPA’s Midyear Canadian Multifamily Investment Forecast Report stated that Vancouver is by far still the most expensive housing market in Canada, with the benchmark price for single detached housing above $1.4 million. The median mortgage payment is also roughly $4,000 greater than the market’s average rental rate.