The housing situation in Vancouver is at a crisis level. This is why I am running for council; to make some real headway on this serious and real issue that is hampering the ability of current and future generations to live, work and play within the City.
My kids, our kids, can no longer afford to live in this city; price increases for both home ownership and rentals are outpacing the ability of many families to pay. The current city leadership has failed us on both housing fronts. They have failed to build enough housing and they have failed to show they can move needed housing projects forward. It is time for the city of Vancouver to take action on cutting red tape, and to take a leadership role within the region to get a greater number of housing of all types of housing to market more quickly. It’s time get this city in to the business of housing so that we can continue to see growing and diverse neighbourhoods in terms of age, incomes and ethnicity and we can all stay in our communities and help those that need it get housing assistance.
The current city government has a lot of community plans but the plans all seem to be a plan for no body to be able to afford to live in the community.
We are going to need to start working together instead of playing politics on housing.
An average of 30,000 people are moving to this region every year, with one fifth (6,200) coming to the City of Vancouver. With new immigration targets being considered at the national level, that number is expected to grow. Current projections are for the region to add upwards of million new residents over the next two and a half decades. Accommodating these new residents would require almost 450,000 new homes to be added to the region; this is the equivalent of adding another current-day Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster to the region in the next 25 years. This would require adding in the range of 18,000 new homes to the region each and every year to 2041. In Vancouver alone we would have to build housing equivalent to the size of the Killarney neighbourhood every 5 years just to keep up with that incoming demand, let alone improve the problem.
That is the scale of housing supply we need to be adding to our region; but we also need to consider the types of housing being added; we need many new affordable and rental homes to relive pressure on those who need help. Is that the scale or pace we are currently tackling this problem with?
It’s time for this City to stop playing politics with this issue and get things done. We need to add all types of housing, not just towers around transit stations, at a much larger scale than is happening so we can begin to affect housing availability and affordability in the City and more broadly throughout the region. The playing of politics, blaming of other levels of government and other municipalities has to stop. This crisis requires leadership, working together, bold decisions and immediate action.
While the issues of affordability and availability are acute in the City of Vancouver, housing is a regional issue. Many people who work in Vancouver live in other municipalities: a third of the regions jobs are in the city, but just a quarter of its population. Therefore, scaled up supply, density, rental stock, affordable housing and transit are issues we need to tackle boldly together with our regional municipal counterparts. It is important that we also work collaboratively with provincial and federal governments and not play politics.
We have a bold and hopeful vision for the continued growth of this beautiful city within what is renown as one of the most livable regions in the world.
Our Bold Platform To Get Housing Units of all kinds to the market includes:
- An end to the piecemeal, building-by-building, lot-by-lot and project-by-project rezoning. This will be replaced with zoning changes over larger zoning areas within the city that will allow flexibility to achieve greater residential density and diversity. This new approach to zoning will be informed by looking at the current composition of the dwelling stock along with residential density targets and jobs in different areas of the City. This will give residents price and market certainty, the ability to see the long-term vision for their city.
- The city will move to utilize 99 year leases on City owned land and partner with homebuilders and service providers to leverage the development potential of City owned lands to add both small and large scale social and market housing.
- The city will work to streamline the building approval process, to speed construction of new homes and move housing units to market faster. This will include the ability to prioritize social and family housing.
- The city will consult with citizens in a collaborative process on these planning and zoning changes, bringing certainty for residents and good ideas and concerns into the public discussion instead of maintaining its current combative posture.
- The city will be a leader regionally in setting and achieving drastically scaled up 10 and 25 year targets for housing supply, housing density, and housing diversity, from rental and family units to affordable and social housing. The city will also collaborate with provincial and federal governments.