Photo: Francois Boucher/Flickr

Over the next decade, the City of Vancouver is aiming to build 72,000 housing units as part of its 10-year plan to combat the city’s severe housing affordability issues.

On Thursday, the City released its housing strategy proposal which outlines key objectives to address lack of housing supply and skyrocketing prices in the city.

Before the plan can be put into action, the proposal will be presented to city council on Tuesday, November 28th for approval.

Over the past year, the City met with stakeholders, spoke with local and global housing leaders and consulted with residents to form the foundation of the housing strategy.

One of the key points highlighted in the plan is the need to shift toward the right supply, which includes rental, social and supportive housing.

With this in mind, the City developed 10-year housing targets that define the type and amount of housing units it will construct from 2018 to 2027.

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RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue agrees that changing gears to create more supply, especially with a focus on rental housing, is a step in the right direction.

According to Hogue, in expensive cities like Toronto and Vancouver, there are more opportunities on the rental side to create affordable housing options.

The targets reflect core objectives outlined by the City, including the need to retain diversity of incomes, housing that meets the greatest need and ambitious targets for very low-income households.

As the end goal is to improve affordability in the city, Hogue says more supply on the market should put less upward pressure on prices.

“If you’re able to boost your supply sufficiently to meet your demand, you should be able to better control prices,” says Hogue.

Here are 10 key points from the City’s housing targets for the next 10 years:

1. Overall, 72,000 new homes are slated to be built with roughly 50 per cent serving households earning less than $80,000 per year. Forty per cent will be family-size units.

2. Of the total, 12,000 will be social, supportive and non-profit co-operative housing units. This target for low-income households will stretch the previous 10-year target set in the Housing and Homelessness Strategy (2012 to 2021) by 50 per cent.

3. Over the next decade, 20,000 new purpose-built market rental units are expected to be constructed out of the total. This goal will quadruple the previous target in the Housing and Homelessness Strategy.

4. Out of the 20,000 rental units, the City will shift 20 per cent of these to be developer-owned affordable rentals.

5. Overall, two-thirds of new housing created will be available for renters.

6. In an effort to provide more ownership housing, 30,000 units of the total will be condos, including 1,000 strata houses and 5,000 townhouses.

7. Family housing will be provided in 46 per cent of the 30,000 ownership housing target.

8. The city’s existing rental stock consists of 90,000 rental homes, with roughly 57,000 purpose-built market rental units, 4,000 private market single-room occupancy units and an additional 25,800 non-market rental units.

9. The City plans to implement measures that retain and renew old rental stock to ensure no net loss, including requiring at least one-for-one replacement of rental housing in certain zones.

10.The City aims to explore opportunities to replace these units and expand the rental stock, while maintaining their levels of affordability.

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