VHF has provided grants to historic buildings, homes and sites in Vancouver since 1999. Drawing on this experience and our many interactions with building owners over the years we undertook a study to review financial incentives in Vancouver to provide input to the Heritage Action Plan process. This study explores the value of financial incentives for heritage conservation, details what is offered in Vancouver and takes a survey of the incentives that could be used. It focuses on the approximately 2,200 resources listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register as the core of Vancouver’s built heritage, and what is available to assist and motivate heritage conservation.
Around the globe, governments at all levels and other organizations offer financial support to encourage the protection and long-term care of heritage buildings and sites. In a variety of ways, public investment is made in often privately-owned assets in recognition of the wide-reaching public benefits of heritage. Heritage conservation is a long-term commitment to planning, restoring, adapting and maintaining. This study makes the case for expanding financial incentives and support in Vancouver and was provided to City Councillors and staff in 2015.
This paper describes the importance of heritage to both public and professionals. It gives an overview of past and present municipal heritage conservation programs and policies, and suggest the strategy to ensure that heritage remains an integral part of the urban environment and landscape. The paper uses a public survey and key informant interviews.
The study shows that 96% of Vancouverites of all ages believe we need to preserve heritage buildings, and 88% want to see less demolition. 72% believe heritage contributes to sustainability goals, and 43% believe that heritage structures make our city more attractive to tourists.
This paper compares the assessed value of Heritage Register, designated heritage and non-heritage properties in four Vancouver neighbourhoods (Strathcona, Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant & Hastings Sunrise). Through tax roll information and neighbourhood drive-arounds, buildings were selected that were similar in size and included houses legally protected through VHF grants.
The study shows that between 1999 and 2005 the Heritage Register and designated heritage houses increased almost the same (42.1% & 42% respectively), while non-heritage houses increased at a slightly slower rate (39%).