Increasing Housing Options

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Thank you to all those who participated. The results from the Increasing Housing Options engagement are now published! Please see link under 'Project Documents'.

Please be advised of the recent Provincial changes as they will have implications for this project going forward. These changes include new housing legislation to deliver more small-scale, multi-unit housing, including townhomes, triplexes and laneway homes. For more on the Provincial initiative see here.




Increasing Housing Options is a series of recommended changes aimed at making housing more attainable in Nanaimo.

These recommendations are in response to City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined, where we heard the community's desire to prioritize creating affordable housing. ‘Increasing Housing Options’ is a set of four proposed changes to increase the types of housing options available to Nanaimo residents.

These four projects will seek to increase rental housing stock and diversity by amending existing suite regulations, encourage gentle infill and intensification in existing neighbourhoods, and require much-needed family-friendly and adaptable units in multi-unit housing developments.

Click on the four projects below to learn more:

Expanding Secondary Suite RegulationsExpanding Family-Friendly Housing Options

Adding Infill Housing in Existing NeighbourhoodsCreating More Adaptable Housing Units

In addition to these four initiatives, the City is currently working on various other actions to create more housing options. These will be presented to residents for feedback at a future date and include:

  1. Tenant Relocation Policy considerations;
  2. Building more supportive housing in partnership with BC Housing;
  3. Consider prezoning land in 'urban centre' and 'corridor' designations for affordable housing;
  4. Support to Rent Bank & Rent Supplement Programs in Nanaimo;
  5. A 'Woodgrove Area Plan'; and
  6. Short Term Rentals review

Thank you to all those who participated. The results from the Increasing Housing Options engagement are now published! Please see link under 'Project Documents'.

Please be advised of the recent Provincial changes as they will have implications for this project going forward. These changes include new housing legislation to deliver more small-scale, multi-unit housing, including townhomes, triplexes and laneway homes. For more on the Provincial initiative see here.




Increasing Housing Options is a series of recommended changes aimed at making housing more attainable in Nanaimo.

These recommendations are in response to City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined, where we heard the community's desire to prioritize creating affordable housing. ‘Increasing Housing Options’ is a set of four proposed changes to increase the types of housing options available to Nanaimo residents.

These four projects will seek to increase rental housing stock and diversity by amending existing suite regulations, encourage gentle infill and intensification in existing neighbourhoods, and require much-needed family-friendly and adaptable units in multi-unit housing developments.

Click on the four projects below to learn more:

Expanding Secondary Suite RegulationsExpanding Family-Friendly Housing Options

Adding Infill Housing in Existing NeighbourhoodsCreating More Adaptable Housing Units

In addition to these four initiatives, the City is currently working on various other actions to create more housing options. These will be presented to residents for feedback at a future date and include:

  1. Tenant Relocation Policy considerations;
  2. Building more supportive housing in partnership with BC Housing;
  3. Consider prezoning land in 'urban centre' and 'corridor' designations for affordable housing;
  4. Support to Rent Bank & Rent Supplement Programs in Nanaimo;
  5. A 'Woodgrove Area Plan'; and
  6. Short Term Rentals review
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Lots Under Consideration for Prezoning to R5 Zoning

6 months

The existing R5 – Three and Four Unit Residential Zone allows three or four units on a single lot. There are, however, few properties within the city that are zoned R5. To increase the supply of triplexes and fourplexes, a much needed housing form, the city is proposing to prezone key sites across the city. Prezoning means that three or four units could be constructed on a lot without going through a rezoning process. The City is proposing to prezone existing single family (R1/R1b) and duplex (R4) lots within a 1km buffer from the downtown, and within the ‘Neighbourhood’ designated areas in City Plan as shown on the map. This move is intended to encourage infill development in key areas as envisioned in City Plan, without compromising the character of existing neighbourhoods. Use this map to see those lots under consideration for rezoning to the R5 (Three and Four unit Residential) zone.

Page last updated: 18 Dec 2023, 10:10 AM