Support Social Housing: Skip Rezonings

There’s an exciting opportunity for you to support non-profit, social, and co-op housing in the City of Vancouver. Rezoning applications are extremely expensive for non-profit housing operators – about $500,000 to $1 million! That’s public money that would be better spent on housing! 

On December 6, a motion is going to council that would reduce those costs by letting non-profit housing in some existing apartment areas go through a streamlined process. There would still be opportunities for community feedback and participation, but it would be a quicker and cheaper staff-led, as opposed to political, process.

Social Housing Rendering at 1766 Frances St

During the recent election, Mayor Sim and his ABC party pledged to support removing rezonings for social housing up to 12 storeys in multi-family areas and 6 in other residential areas, when asked by Women Transforming Cities. This motion is a key part of fulfilling that promise, but your support is needed to make sure it passes!

The motion is called “B2. Reducing Barriers and Deepening Affordability for Non-Profit, Co-op and Social Housing in Every Neighbourhood”. We’ll provide a sample letter you can use at the end of this email, but personalized letters are more effective! You can use this link to email Mayor and Council, or use this feedback form. Better yet, you can register to speak in support! The motion goes to council this Tuesday, December 6, so please write in before then! Speakers will probably be heard on December 7.

This is your first big opportunity to let the new Mayor and Council know how important it is that they act on the housing crisis. Let’s speak up in support of more affordable housing!


Sample E-mail (customize it with your own stories / suggestions / etc., if desired)

Subject: B.2 Reducing Barriers and Deepening Affordability for Non-Profit, Co-op and Social Housing

Dear Mayor and Council,

I support motion B2 to reduce barriers to social housing. 

Vancouver desperately needs more housing, especially below market housing, and this motion would help cut unnecessary red tape on non-profit, social, and co-op housing. 

Public hearings are expensive, divisive, and not a valuable form of consultation, especially since they come so late in the approval process. Vancouver should have robust policies set ahead of time, through informed public engagement and an understanding of the shortages faced by those needing social housing, instead of requiring every building to go through a complicated political process. 

During the election many of you pledged to support legalizing housing like this of up to 12 floors. I am calling on you now to honour your pledge.

We don’t need more studies, we need practical action, just like this!