Every working person in the city, from our most vulnerable neighbours to the traditionally more stable, has felt the impact of the Housing Crisis. This is not a left or right wing issue nor one to be argued over decades with the application of lengthy studies and reviews. This is an emergency that we must tackle together today. Below outlines the tailored approach I am proposing to bring to City Hall to address both Supply and Demand side issues.
As all renters can attest to, the current vacancy rate creates a power imbalance between tenants and landlords. This creates a situation where the rules no longer seem to apply and can put tenants in unsafe and subpar living conditions. To fix this, we need to increase rental stock. To do so, I am proposing that we:
- Ending the "apartment ban" in the areas of Vancouver reserved for detached homes to begin to allow multifamily housing of 2 - 6 stories, with higher density near major transit hubs and not just on polluted arterials.
- Continue to strengthen the tools that encourage the owners of vacant and short-term rental properties to bring them into the long-term rental market.
- Focus the city's efforts on construction of Purpose Built Rentals in addition to rental housing for those that the market will not serve. This includes Social/Supportive Housing as well as Temporary Modular Housing.
- Continue to protect vulnerable neighbourhoods such as Chinatown, Hogan's Alley, and the Downtown East Side.
While the Vancouver Charter extends very little power to the municipal government to deal with issues of speculation on Vancouver real estate, city hall must act as advocates for residents' best interests. I am committing to working with and lobbying the Provincial and Federal governments to continue to introduce measures that will cause speculators to cover the societal costs of their transactions. Furthermore, I will push strongly for so-called 'demand-side' measures to bring an end to Vancouver's reputation as an international hub for money laundering.