The best way to tackle the dire shortage of supply in ground-oriented housing is to pre-zone for infill housing at Official Community Plan stage, according to a study released April 3 by the Greater Vancouver Home Builder’s Association (GVHBA).
The association’s third annual Housing Approval Study (HAS) says there is currently a housing supply shortfall of more than 4,400 units per year (compared with Metro Vancouver's Regional Growth Strategy projections). Only three of the 17 Metro Vancouver municipalities studied met or exceeded their Regional Growth Strategy targets – Vancouver, Richmond and the City of North Vancouver
The report says, “Changing from the current project-by-project re-zoning process to pre-zoning areas at the Official Community Planning stage can reduce the building approvals process for infill housing by up to 18 months. Put into context, the current approvals system can take up to 24 months, while a typical two-level, 2,500-square-foot home takes just 16 to 18 weeks to build.”
It adds, “Infill housing, the subject of this year’s HAS research, offers a viable form of gentle densification to address the ‘missing middle’ housing supply to support the growth of complete, liveable communities, while maintaining and enhancing the integrity of our existing neighbourhoods.”
Bob de Wit, CEO of GVHBA, said, “A small change can make a big impact. [Some] 18,000 new ground-oriented housing options can be built if just five per cent of single-family homes in Metro Vancouver are pre-zoned to allow for gentle densification through the more affordable duplex, triplex and quadplex ownership housing forms.”
The GVHBA/Landcor HAS 2017 – Infill Housing Report, including interactive maps, graphs and data broken down by municipality, can be viewed at www.gvhba/HAS