Duplex Mania!

Please take a minute and let council know that you do not think banning duplexes is worth diverting staff resources, or spending $175K of public dollars. Please share this email widely and ask your friends, families, and network to do the same.

UPDATE - ON Dec 19, council received the staff report and elected to stay the course.  Duplexes will remain an option in almost all of RS-1.  RS-1 is the zoning district that occupies more land than any other district, while banning more types of housing than any other district.  Thankfully it's now just a tiny bit less restrictive and we look forward to seeing many more options in future.  Thank you top everyone who wrote in!

If you missed the chance to write in, you can still use the instructions below to say "Thanks!" and express your support for allowing neighbourhoods to welcome people of all incomes who want to live there.


Allowing two families to share a house is literally the smallest possible step we could take toward more housing choice in our city.

However even this step is too big for some. This Tuesday, Dec 18, council will consider a report on costs ($175K!) to re-institute the duplex ban. Council could then decide to refer the proposed ban to a divisive public hearing, delaying the new city wide plan.  Alternately they could simply accept the report and move on, asking city staff to stay focused on beginning the city wide planning process.

Abundant Housing Vancouver feels the latter choice is the the best answer and we hope you do too.

We need a lot more housing options than just duplexes, so let’s get to work legalizing more, not fewer.

How to Email Mayor and Council

You can email them as a group with this list:

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Or use the city's online contact form 

Here’s a template you can copy & paste or edit to your liking. However, even a single line is enough, expressing opposition to re-opening the duplex issue.

Subject: Duplexes are fine, let’s move on

Dear Mayor and Council
I oppose the effort to ban duplexes in most neighbourhoods. Let’s concentrate our planning resources on creating a city-wide plan that brings back our families and friends, while ensuring renters and the vulnerable are not pushed out. We need more housing options, not fewer. Duplexes will not work for everyone but they are a tiny step to making the most restrictive, most exclusive land in our city more welcoming.

Reasons I feel we should move forward, not backward:

  • Thousands of Vancouver residents engaged with the Vancouver Housing Strategy that ultimately recommended legalizing duplexes as a first “quick step” to providing more housing. We should not disregard their participation.
  • Keeping duplexes legal will allow a few hundred more families per year to share in our great neighbourhoods.
  • Keeping duplexes legal sends a message to exclusionists that the starting point for city plan, the most that we’ll restrict future housing options, will be duplexes.
  • A city-wide plan has the potential to be truly representative, in a way that public hearings cannot. Let’s keep moving forward with a city-wide plan rather than allow privileged groups to control the process.
  • Spending $175K to forbid a form of housing is a waste of public funds.
  • The city-wide planning process that council has just recently initiated should be staff’s focus, not policing what kind of housing Vancouverites choose to live in.
  • Staff has suggested that duplexes could be considered for the next year as a trial. At the very minimum, this path would be prudent and avoid completely disregarding all the effort and consultation that has already gone into the duplex initiative.
  • I would like to live in a duplex with my family or friends one day!
  • I want the people who might choose duplexes to have that option rather than leaving the city or moving into lower income neighbourhoods

Thank you



Agenda for Tuesday, Dec 18

Staff Report: “Costs of Consultation, Time Constraints and Impacts of Pursuing By-law Amendments to Remove Two-family Dwellings (Duplex) from RS Zones”

AHV board member Stuart Smith speaking in opposition to banning duplexes (6:15)

1931 zoning map - just after zoning was introduced, duplexes where allowed everywhere that single family was allowed!

Meanwhile Minneapolis just legalized triplexes…