Housing Diversity & Initiatives
Housing diversity is important to the District of West Vancouver. West Vancouver residents recognize the challenges of managing future change and meeting emerging housing needs, while preserving the highly valued character of West Vancouver’s existing neighbourhoods. During West Vancouver’s Official Community Plan (OCP) review process (2001-2004), residents identified ‘housing’ as the most important issue for the community.
Following up on the OCP review process, the 2007-2008 Community Dialogue on Neighbourhood Character and Housing was developed and implemented by District staff and a citizens’ working group. This was a process involving hundreds of West Vancouver residents talking to each other about the future of their neighbourhoods, and issues related to housing choice and affordability. The Community Dialogue provided a forum for engaging the community in developing its own policy directions for housing and neighbourhood character.
Building on the OCP and the Community Dialogue on Neighbourhood Character and Housing, Council adopted ‘A Housing Action Plan for West Vancouver’ on February 18, 2013. The Plan provides a framework to:
- continue the dialogue on housing issues and opportunities in the community
- clarify West Vancouver’s goals for housing diversity and affordability
- identify possible local government actions to address these goals and establish priorities for West Vancouver.
Key planning challenges for West Vancouver include: how to provide for improved housing choice and affordability, specifically, the right size and right type of housing; and, how to meet the changing housing needs of West Vancouver residents by providing new housing opportunities within their own neighbourhoods, while maintaining the character of those neighbourhoods.
West Vancouver is now accepting applications for coach houses.
West Vancouver has approximately 1,900 purpose-built rental units, most of which were built in the 1960s and 1970s.
North Shore Homelessness Action Initiative
The North Shore Homelessness Action Initiative (NSHAI) is an assembly of North Shore officials with a mutual commitment to enhancing coordination and action to prevent and alleviate homelessness in our communities.
Our neighbourhoods are changing, as existing modest homes are replaced with much larger ones that include significant alterations to the surrounding landscape.
Changing neighbourhood character has been a concern in West Vancouver for 30 years. Construction of large replacement houses (known as "bulk") have been pointed to as ‘character-altering’. The District is currently reviewing existing regulations to address this issue.
Reports & Studies
The District has prepared a Housing Needs Report that is consistent with provincial legislation. It outlines existing and anticipated housing needs over a five-year time frame and will be presented to Council at an upcoming meeting.