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.
In late 2017, I had the opportunity to hear current administration leadership field questions during a photo opportunity, When questioned about Social Housing, they, as many before them have done, deferred to other levels of government. The many Vancouverites who rely on Social Housing to get by day to day know that this is not an appropriate or sufficient response from municipal government. We must take care of our city's most vulnerable citizens here at home, barring an overhaul in how the Provincial and Federal governments address the issue. I am proposing to make Social Housing an immediate priority at City Hall.
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, especially 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.
- 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. Vancouver's reputation as an international hub for money laundering must come to an end. I am committing to working with and lobbying the Provincial and Federal governments to introduce measures that will put an end to illegal money flowing into Vancouver real estate.