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Q&A on the STIR rental initiative

What is STIR? A time limited (2.5 year) program that responds to the market rental shortage in Vancouver Provides incentives…

By Chelsea Blazer , in City , on November 25, 2010

What is STIR?

  • A time limited (2.5 year) program that responds to the market rental shortage in Vancouver
  • Provides incentives to encourage the development of new market rental housing

Why did the city start STIR?

  • Fifty-two per cent of Vancouver households are renters
  • Only about 6 per cent of new market development has been for rental housing since 2004

What does STIR include?

  • Rental property assessment (on rental units only)
  • Development Cost Levy waiver (on rental units only)
  • Parking requirement reductions (on rental units only)
  • Discretion on unit size
  • Increased density
  • Expedited permit processing

What are the demographics of the West End?

  • Highest density of any neighborhood in the city, with 141.9 dwellings per hectare and 218.4 residents per hectare
  • The second is Downtown at 66.7 dwelling per hectare and 50.4 residents per hectare

What has development been like in the West End for the last couple of decade?

  • Review by WEN found that since 1987, the year of the creation of the West End Policy Plan, over 5,000 dwelling units in 100 buildings have been constructed within the boundaries of the West End

What are some of the concerns of the WEN regarding STIR?

  • Projects are out touch with the characterization of the neighborhood
  • Lack of clear guidelines on how much “density” can be given to a developer
  • Ignores the already over capacity community services (e.g. schools, community facilities and libraries)
  • Decreases sunlight and green space
  • Dismisses meaningful community consultation
  • Increases traffic and noise
  • Does not address affordability concerns of renters

(More information can be found in a Public Statement issued October 28, 2010 by the West End Neighbours.)

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