Rental Housing

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 in 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

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. To further protect tenants, City Council adopted a Residential Tenant Displacement Policy 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.

Short Term Rentals

The zoning regulations for short term rentals in the City such as AirBnB and similar services are provided in the City’s Short Terms Rentals Bulletin.

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