Vancouver considers thin streets to help address affordable housing
September 27, 2012

Vancouver’s streets may get thinner. According to an article in The Vancouver Sun, three Vancouver communities – Grandview-Woodland, Marpole and the West End – are set to become the first in the city to see houses built on under-used streets and lanes.

The “thin streets” are part of a strategy to address affordable housing for renters and buyers in Vancouver.

Mayor Gregor Robertson notes that, “Affordability is undoubtedly a top concern for people on low and middle incomes  in Vancouver, but it affects the entire fabric of the city. I want to be sure the city stays diverse and people who work in Vancouver or grow up in Vancouver have the opportunity to live here.”

The recommendations are the result of an 18-member city task force on housing affordability. The task force’s report recommends an interim rezoning policy that would add higher-density housing options within 100 metres of some of the city’s major streets. Robertson notes that the proposed rezoning wouldn’t impact the majority of Vancouver neighbourhoods and would focus on changes near transit corridors.

If suitable space for “thin streets” can be found in the three pilot neighbourhoods, projects could get underway in 18 months.