Modal logics of aging purpose-built rental housing in Vancouver’s suburbs


  • Craig Jones Department of Geography, University of British Columbia


Suburban purpose-built rental housing, Redevelopment, Urban planning


Most Vancouver’s suburban stock of purpose-built rental housing is aging, and there is concern that much of it could soon face redevelopment pressure. Previous research has demonstrated the importance of this stock for providing marginalized renters with naturally occurring affordable housing options, and the displacement of renters for redevelopment has been observed in certain Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods. Further, there is a shortage of affordable rental housing options in suburban Vancouver, which may be exacerbated by the demolition of the older stock. In late-2016 to early-2017 I conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with urban planners, politicians, real estate and housing professionals to collect a range of perspectives on the past, present and future of aging rental housing in Vancouver’s suburbs. The key insights to emerge from this research are that the current rental stock is insufficient to meet demand, government policy may have contributed to a lack of supply, and expanding the supply of suburban rental housing will depend on maintaining a delicate balance between preservation and redevelopment.