About Vienna House

In response to both the global climate crisis and the regional housing affordability crisis, BC Housing, British Columbia’s housing authority, is currently building an innovative near zero-emissions rental apartment community in East Vancouver.

Vienna House is a partnership between BC Housing, the City of Vancouver through its Vancouver Affordable Housing Endowment Fund, and the More Than a Roof Housing Society.

The City of Vienna, Austria, is participating in the project via a knowledge-sharing collaboration that will see a similar affordable housing project rising in that city. (Learn more.) Each party is bringing its own expertise, experience, and resources to the project.

Vienna House will showcase innovative materials and processes designed to deliver high energy performance with low greenhouse gas emissions. These include prefabricated off-site manufacturing of building components and anticipated Passive House performance. The mechanical design addresses temperature extremes and ensures ready access to fresh air, improving resident comfort while minimizing noise impacts from the adjacent Skytrain line and Victoria Drive.

All of these approaches, working together, will hopefully make Vienna House a potential template for other affordable housing projects across Vancouver, the province, and beyond.

Example of engineered wood construction at UBC. Photo Steve Errico via naturallywood.com.
The integrated design process supports collaborative problem solving.

What and Where?

BC Housing and its partners are building Vienna House as a seven storey, 123-unit dedicated affordable housing rental building, in Vancouver’s Kensington – Cedar Cottage neighbourhood, at 2001 Stainsbury Avenue.

The building is five-sided, with homes clustered around a central courtyard, and with one of the two long sides of the building angled slightly inwards. The SkyTrain Expo Line elevated guideway runs along the eastern edge of the property.

Who will live there?

For regular updates on the project, visit News & Updates.

The community will consist of 123 units, including 56 family units, all mixed between shelter, low-income, and average market rental units.

The specific composition will be:

  • 29 studio units
  • 37 one-bedroom units
  • 35 two-bedroom units
  • 16 three-bedroom units, and
  • six four-bedroom suites.

Ten per cent of the homes will also be accessible for those with disabilities. All the units will also be adaptable.

More Than a Roof Housing Society will ultimately own and operate Vienna House.

About this website

BC Housing is producing this website to share information and research about the Vienna House affordable housing project with researchers, practitioners, and the building design and development industries.

Note: The Vienna House Multi-Unit Affordable Housing Demonstrations Initiative received funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the National Housing Strategy Demonstrations Initiative. The views expressed on this website are the personal views of the author, and CMHC accepts no responsibility for them.