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Experts urge zoning changes following report showing young families embracing higher density dwellings

By Jenny Peng for The Star Vancouver

While more than half of homeowners have given up their dreams of owning a single-family home, experts are urging the city to follow suit and make zoning easier for families to access higher-density homes. The finding confirms his study on home ownership showing residents are shifting their expectations and adapting to alternative types of housing with 22 per cent of Vancouver respondents having the highest preference for “higher-density housing alternatives” for condominiums, duplexes, triplexes, and multiplexes. Lauster said building more supply of multi-unit housing is key to making the city more accessible for families.

“We still protect so much land for this very low density form of housing that people are starting to give up on unless they’re millionaires.”

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The current zoning, which he says still favours single-family homes in Vancouver, is caused partly by policy-makers often overlooking people who don’t own homes, those who are not included in this report.

“People don’t get a vote in the (housing) market if they don’t have money. On the policy side of things, planners and politicians themselves often come from middle-class backgrounds and have themselves enacted a kind of lifestyle trajectory where they become homeowners themselves, and they kind of lose sight of the diversity in our city in terms of all these other ways of living and going through life where you don’t necessarily end up as a homeowner.”

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