Building Magazine


Infill housing offers viable form of gentle densification: Housing Approval Study


Key findings in the third annual Housing Approval Study (HAS) show a housing shortfall relative to the Regional Growth Strategy projections by over 4,400 units per year, with only three of the 17 municipalities studied meeting or exceeding Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy – Vancouver, Richmond and the City of North Vancouver.

The report identifies 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 sq. ft. home takes just 16-18 weeks to build.

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.

“A small change can make a big impact,” said Bob de Wit, CEO, GVHBA, citing ‘”8,000 new ground-oriented housing options can be built if just 5 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.”

Initiated by the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) with the support of Landcor Data Corporation, research completed identifies an Index of the leading municipalities of infill housing to foster improvements in the housing approvals process for the efficient delivery of the required housing supply lacking in the region.

The GVHBA/Landcor HAS 2017- Infill Housing report can be accessed online, complete with interactive maps, charts and data at www.gvhba/HAS

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