Affordable housing and Vancouver’s municipal election – a short guide.

Photo by Caelie Frampton | Wikimedia Creative Commons.

Photo by Caelie Frampton | Wikimedia Creative Commons.

Blog post by Amy Do 

If you own a house in Vancouver you’re probably a millionaire. That’s just how expensive it is to live in this city. So it’s no wonder with the election coming up, affordable housing is a key component of Vision, COPE and NPA’s campaigns. Each party has different promises on how they plan to make Vancouver more affordable to the non-millionaires.

Just how bad is the housing situation in Vancouver? Listen to our podcast on how young people and working class families are being forced out of Vancouver’s housing market:

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Vision wants to build more shelters, protect renters and support the middle class. The party has done some work during its time in power to build housing for low-income and rental units. Other projects that are ongoing include Vancouver Rent Bank that gives loans to low-income renters and the Rental Standards Database to give renters information on buildings’ safety history. Vision promises to push forward the Affordable Housing Authority, even though this initiative just started. Community members can serve on the board – which hasn’t been finalized yet – and carry out the Mayor’s task force on housing affordability.

Despite this, COPE believes Vision hasn’t done enough. The party will declare a “State of Emergency” to solve the affordable housing crisis by focusing on taxing land property and using the tax revenue to give rebates and grants for lower income households. It also wants to emphasize the importance of developing the Downtown Eastside and stop the gentrification in the area. COPE also promises to approve more new housing to speed up the process of building new apartments and rental housing.

The NPA, for its part, recently unveiled its housing platform, with a focus on housing for families and seniors. In many ways, the NPA echoes the strategies listed in COPE’s platform – with emphasis on building neighbourhoods, zoning plans and giving flexibility to senior’s units. The party also plans to confront the foreign investment issue by investigating how it impacts housing prices in the city.

Also, checkout this housing infographic forom the BC Non-Profit Housing Association:

affordable-housing-infograph1

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