Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has reintroduced his plan to allow six homes on one lot in an attempt to combat housing affordability in the relentlessly expensive city

Increasing density in neighbourhoods traditionally known for single family homes will offer middle-class residents entry in previously unattainable markets and generate important City dollars in the process, says Stewart.

In a news conference yesterday, Stewart discussed his “Making Home” plan, calling for the city to permit large, detached houses to be converted or redeveloped into up to six units that could be leased or sold as condos. 

The move came a year after a similar proposal was rejected by city council in September 2020 that included a pilot project of 100 homes. 

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The mayor plans to reintroduce the motion at a council meeting in January 2022. A draft version of the motion outlines a policy that would allow up to 2000 lots to be initially considered for redevelopment and promises “modest” height increases.

The idea is to eventually open the option up to homeowners across the city, who will need to bid in order to get into the program. The city would set the price based on how many homes it wants on the lot. Homeowners would have to kiss the potential of cashing in on climbing housing prices goodbye, but they would be guaranteed a new home on the property. 

Stewart said his plan features measures to curb speculation, which has become a problem throughout the country. 

The Vancouver mayor also said the revised plan will ensure that land value increases to the properties will “guarantee affordability on-site or are used by the city to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fight homelessness, build affordable rental, repair aging infrastructure, expand childcare, and accelerate the climate emergency action plan.”

On the climate action front, the proposal also includes initiatives to make Vancouver greener, like the addition of hundreds of electric vehicle chargers and new bus lanes to meet the city's carbon emissions targets. 

Stewart's second shot at the plan comes as Vancouver area home prices remained above the 10-year average in September, with the average cost of a home now sitting at over $1.8 million.