Vancouver mayor hints at future of mixed housing in single family neighbourhoods

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Vancouver mayor hints at future of mixed housing in single family neighbourhoods

As the City of Vancouver's review of how to protect pre-1940s homes in Vancouver continues, it appears Mayor Gregor Robertson is supportive of more density in Vancouver's traditional single-family home neighbourhoods.

"It's clear our lowest density neighbourhoods are changing and we need to make sure they're changing for the people who need them," said Robertson in a statement.

On Tuesday the city's head planner Gil Kelley will provide an update to council about the character home review which would discourage owners from demolishing pre-1940s houses the city deems to have character value.

Some argue the plan will make it more difficult for the city to build up density, which groups like Abundant Housing Vancouver say is desperately needed.

Going by his statement released on Sunday, it appears Mayor Robertson agrees.

'Feeling squeezed out'

"People are feeling squeezed out," said Robertson.

He argues since 2011, more than 1000 people have left neighbourhoods like Dunbar, Arbutus Ridge and Kerrisdale — neighbourhoods that feature character-style homes.

"It's clear our lowest density neighbourhoods are changing and we need to make sure they're changing for the people who need them," he said.

Robertson says, "now is the right time to advance the conversation for more affordability and a mix of housing types that fit within our single family home neighbourhoods."

His statement says that mix could include townhomes, row houses, and duplexes.

Meanwhile, roughly 1,000 homes are torn down every year in Vancouver and the majority of those were built before 1940.

People who want the remaining homes protected are asking the city to move fast and Robertson said the character home review will be the first of several updates to come in the next few months.

"All options are on the table to keep Vancouver liveable, inclusive, and affordable now and for years to come," he said.