Vancouver councillors have ended two days of public hearings by voting to allow duplexes in most city neighbourhoods currently restricted to single-family homes.
Mayor Gregor Robertson says the decision is another step toward adding homes in the city for the so-called "missing middle," which includes young families pushed out of Vancouver by soaring property prices.
A news release from the mayor's office says the policy change means duplexes are now permitted on approximately 67,000 single family lots, offering an option that is more affordable than a detached home.
The 7-4 vote was split along party lines with Robertson, five Vision Vancouver members and councillor Hector Bremner approving the motion, while three Non-Partisan Association councillors and the Green party's Adriane Carr voted against.
The vote also marks one of the last major decisions of Robertson's decade-long tenure as mayor because he is not running in next month's civic election.
Robertson agrees the duplex proposal is not a "silver bullet" that will resolve Vancouver's housing problems, but says it responds to the demands of residents.