There is a fantastic program that the City of Vancouver has created which many homeowners should be interested in.
Heritage Action Plan
The Heritage Action Plan was passed in October 2017 which affects homes deemed to have “character merit.” You can find the specifics and the full details about the program on the City of Vancouver website.
For home renovations, this program has a number of special benefits.
First, it allows multi-unit and strata conversions in all RS zones. This means homes formerly zoned as single-family dwellings can become multi-unit strata.
Floor space ratio bonuses
In addition to stratification and multi-unit conversion, homeowners can take advantage of increased floor space ratio (FSR) bonuses. “Floor space ratio” is the figure obtained when the area of the floors of the buildings on a site is divided by the area of the site.
The city has increased the FSR to entice homeowners to renovate and retain character homes. The previous FSR of .7 has been increased to .75 for the primary dwelling structure.
This is significant because enterprising homeowners can capitalize on this opportunity to provide additional housing units on their property and earn excellent additional income. Considering that the vacancy rate in Vancouver is less than 1% with rental rates remaining high and increasing each year, this can be extremely lucrative.
There is also the potential for renovations and additions to pay for themselves through capital gain. For example, on a lot with secondary dwelling units, the FSR has been increased from .86 to .92, dramatically increasing the available space for new units to be added.
On a multi-unit conversion, there is an additional bonus density up to .85 (with infil). This opens the door for homeowners to be able to fully renovate their home and add an additional unit. This unit can then be sold to not only pay for the renovation but, depending on the type and size of the unit, maybe even give them a capital gain.
This program is a very exciting opportunity for homeowners.