A review of Population Change 2011-2016. Are the Housing Vancouver Strategy targets realistic?

Is the Housing Vancouver Strategy rooted in reality? The population of Vancouver increased by 27,984 people from 2011 to 2016. This is a population increase of 4.6%, which is less than the Canadian average increase of 5.0%. The above neighbourhood map comes via the City, from a False Creek South workshop document (see page 50).

The Housing Vancouver Strategy sets a goal of making 72,000 new housing units over 10 years (2017-2027). Yet planning staff have refused to release the full set data behind those assumptions, as directed by Council, with a deadline of July 31, 2020. For further details on this, please see our recent post: Can we have the data now? Prof John Rose writes Vancouver’s new chief planner (Theresa O’Donnell)

StatsCan recorded an increase of 35,614 new housing units from 2006 to 2016. This may work out to somewhere between 38,000 to 40,000 dwellings units from 2016-2026 based on this Census trend. Assuming that the population growth rate of 4.6% (from 2011 to 2016) continues, Vancouver could have a population of 660,768 in 2021 and 691,407 in 2026. This could result in a population increase of 59,921 (2016 to 2026). Is the projection by staff attempting to provide more than one new dwelling unit per new resident? (in other words, this would mean that the average new household size would be less than 1, or that a large number of the new units would unoccupied)

The 2021 Census is now ongoing. The data on population and dwelling unit counts will likely be released in February of 2022. Real data from StatsCan will provide clarity on actual housing and population numbers.


Statistics Canada releases breakdown of dwelling units and population age from 2016 Census (CityHallWatch, May 4, 2017)

Vancouver population 631,486 in 2016 Census, and 25,502 unoccupied dwelling units (CityHallWatch, February 8, 2017)

Housing Vancouver Strategy: https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/2018-06-13-housing-vancouver-strategy.pdf

Show us the data! Planning staff failed to answer Council request for data on “Recalibrating the Housing Vancouver Strategy post COVID-19”: Memo by Clr Hardwick (CityHallWatch, September 18, 2020)

Open letter to City Council on Vancouver’s proposed new 10 year Housing Strategy: Don Gardner
(CityHallWatch, November 29, 2017)

Can we have the data now? Prof John Rose writes Vancouver’s new chief planner (Theresa O’Donnell) (CityHallWatch, June 5, 2021)

Ending the Housing Crisis: Recalibrating the Vancouver Housing Strategy (lewisnvillegas: the making and meaning of place, May 28, 2020)

It’s time for Vancouver to pause and pivot: Urban design and livability are an important part of sustainability, should not be sacrificed for expediency (Opinion by Elizabeth Murphy) (April 27, 2021)

Planning staff salaries (appearing on sunshine list) Council salaries, sunshine list released in 2020 financial report. Former City Manager earned $354,698 last year (CityHallWatch, March 24, 2021)

Will Vancouver need new 72,000 dwelling units over 10 years? StatsCan measured 35,614 new units over 10 years. (CityHallWatch, August 24, 2020)

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