Market Rental Housing

For many decades, the number of renter households in the City outnumbered ownership households. The growth of strata ownership changed this trend, but the 2016 Canadian Census showed that the number of renter households is back on the rise, accounting for approximately 47 percent of all households in the City. With almost half of City households being renters, a diverse rental stock ensures rental options are available and appropriate to all renters in the City.

Purpose-Built Rental

The majority of the City's market rental units can be found in purpose-built rental buildings. Most of this stock was constructed between the 1950s and 1960s, when senior government programs facilitated rental housing development. Today, these units continue to be the primary source of rental housing in the City, and offer some of the most affordable market rents. However, with many of these buildings now well over 50 years of age, the maintenance, retention, and continual replacement of these units will be critical to the City's supply of rental housing for the foreseeable future.

The City is seeing new purpose-built rental stock construction after decades of limited investment and growth. The renewed interest in rental housing is due to changing market conditions, low interest rates, changing lifestyle preferences, as well as City strategies and incentives for rental construction. There remains limited senior government assistance for rental housing, however, and rental housing remains less profitable than developing strata condominiums. To create incentives for rental, the City provides the following:

  • Density bonus for 100% secured rental housing projects (Mid-Market Rental Units required)
  • No Community Benefits Contribution for 100% secured rental housing projects
  • Reduced parking requirements at 0.75 stalls per unit

With the increase in new rental units in recent years, the City’s vacancy rate is slowly improving. Between 2016 and 2017, the City’s vacancy rate increased from 0.3% to 1.3%. That said, a healthy vacancy rate is between 3 and 5 percent. To protect the existing purpose-built rental stock, the City has implemented strata conversion controls to prevent the conversion of rental units to ownership units unless the vacancy rate in the City exceeds 4 percent. The City also permits new rental units to be added to existing purpose-built rental buildings. To further protect tenants, City Council adopted a Residential Tenant Displacement Policy in 2015 to require enhanced notice and financial assistance for renters who are displaced due to redevelopment of older purpose-built rental buildings.

Secondary Rental Market

The growth in rental units in the secondary rental market has helped to diversify the City's market rental stock. The secondary rental market consists of secondary suites in single family homes, coach houses, accessory dwelling units in duplexes, lock-off units, condominium apartments, and other dwelling types rented out by owner/investors. While more City residents are now renting from the secondary rental market, these types of units are not secure rental housing resources and may be lost at any time.

Residential Tenant Displacement Policy

Tenant Displacement
The updated Residential Tenant Displacement Policy was adopted by Council on July 12, 2021. The updated Policy applies to all rezoning applications submitted after July 12, 2021 that propose to redevelop or demolish any building or combination of buildings containing five or more dwellings occupied by tenants as their primary place of residence.

The Residential Tenant Displacement Policy provides tenants who are displaced as the result of the redevelopment of rental accommodation with enhanced notice and assistance. The policy applies to all rezoning applications that would result in the demolition of any building or combination of buildings containing five or more dwelling units occupied by tenants as their primary place of residence. This includes rental units in single family homes, duplexes and coach houses, strata units operating as rental units, and purpose built rental units. The policy does not replace or affect the requirements in the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA).  

Tenancies active when the rezoning application is submitted to the City are eligible for support under this policy. Tenants who move into an existing vacant rental unit after the rezoning application is submitted are not expected to receive the same support as pre-existing tenants. The current version of the policy was adopted on July 12, 2021 and it applies to all applications submitted after that date. Rezoning applications submitted prior to July 12, 2021 are subject to the provisions of the previous 2015 policy.

The measures outlined in the policy represent a voluntary commitment by the development applicant to provide additional measures to support renters in the City of North Vancouver. The following commitments are requested by the development applicant as part of their Tenant Assistance Package:

  • Tenant Communication Plan that proactively engages and notifies tenants throughout the development application process
  • Designation of an independent, professional Tenant Relocation Coordinator to support tenants throughout the process, and to aid tenants in finding up to three comparable rental units
  • Additional assistance for low income tenants and other facing barriers
  • Financial compensation equivalent to four months’ current rent. Tenants whose tenancy began five or more years prior to the date the rezoning application is submitted are eligible for additional financial assistance based on the length of time they have resided in the building
  • Flat rate payment for moving expenses, based on number of bedrooms
  • First right of refusal to rent a Mid-Market Rent (MMR) Unit in the new building, provide the tenant meets the eligibility requirements for the MMR unit

Mid-Market Rental Units

Mid-Market Rental (MMR) Policy: The updated Mid-Market Rental Policy was adopted by Council on July 25, 2022. The policy document outlines the expectations of the Mid-Market Rental Policy and includes updates to the eligibility criteria for tenant selection.

To facilitate affordability in new market rental developments, the Housing Action Plan requires the provision of Mid-Market Rental (MMR) units in all new market rental developments seeking a density bonus. The policy requires that 10% of units in new market rental projects are rented at 10% below average rents in the City, as calculated by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Based on the CMHC 2021 Rental Market Survey, MMR units rented in 2022 are to be rented at the following rents:

2022 MMR Rent Level

Unit Size

2021 CMHC Average Rent for CNV

2022 MMR Rent Level

(10% below CMHC Average Rent)

Household Income Limit





1 Bedroom




2 Bedroom




3+ Bedroom




MMR units are secured by Housing Agreement and administered by the rental building owner. Learn more in the Mid-Market Rental Policy.

Share |