Diego Cardona has an immediate plan for action on affordable housing
Vision Vancouver candidate Diego Cardona has a five-point plan for new housing supply in Vancouver, contrasting with unrealistic policy ideas from other by-election candidates that rely on the provincial government instead of taking action right away.
“We’re hearing a lot of talk about a rent freeze during this by-election,” said Cardona. “A rent freeze doesn’t go far enough, and is far too reliant on another level of government. I’m proposing actual solutions that are achievable, and will make a difference right away. We need a big boost in new rental housing right now. As a young person, and a renter, I’m uniquely positioned to be a champion for renters and aspiring owners on city council.”
If elected, Diego Cardona will be a fresh new voice at city council for these five policies:
- 1,000 new co-op homes: there is a shortage of accessible co-ops in Vancouver, and with Council set to approve a new 10-year housing strategy at the end of November, Cardona will advocate for the City to deliver 1,000 new co-ops as part of the plan. Under Mayor Robertson and Vision Vancouver, Vancouver saw its first Co-op housing established in more than a decade, first in the Olympic Village and most recently through the new Community Land Trust. “We can use city land and through the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency, deliver a big boost of co-op housing. The city is already doing it and I want to take it to the next level,” explained Cardona.
- A Vancouver Special for 2017: if elected, Cardona will introduce a motion to have staff bring forward a ‘Vancouver Special’ for 2017 - a new building type that could go immediately in all single-family neighborhoods but double the number homes. “Currently up to three units - a single-family home, a basement suite, and laneway house - are allowed on a single-family lot, but that's not enough. We could easily increase that to 6. Let's develop a new kind of Vancouver Special for 2017 that can double the number of homes in our single-family neighborhoods and give a new generation of Vancouverites an opportunity to live in our city.”
- A solid vote for cohousing: the city's first cohousing project opened last year on East 33rd near Victoria, providing a community-oriented housing development that blends in with a single-family neighborhood. The project was opposed by the NPA, but Cardona will be a strong champion for co-housing projects throughout Vancouver.
- Incentives for rental with deeper affordability: in July, Mayor Robertson announced a new program in the Oakridge area whereby buildings offering 100% rental homes can get extra density provided they offer 20% of the homes at rents affordable to people on low and modest incomes. “This policy is an important step from the Mayor and I want to see it expanded City-wide,” said Cardona.
- More resources to speed up permits: Vancouver is approving a record amount of new housing supply, and as a result is facing permit requests far above normal. “Our economy and construction sectors are booming, and I'm prepared to support more resources in next year's budget to help speed up permit approvals and deliver better customer service,” said Cardona. With Council set to approve the 2018 budget in December, Cardona will champion additional funding to hire more staff to address the record volumes of permits.
“As somebody who came to Canada as a refugee and spent time in the foster care system, I understand the urgency that so many people face struggling to find a place to live in Vancouver,” says Diego. “The NPA candidate says he supports housing supply, but he himself came to City Council in July to oppose more than 300 new homes because they were being built across the street from him. While I have tremendous respect for candidates like Jean Swanson and Judy Graves, their housing ideas do nothing to help people right away and merely consist of writing letters and motions to the province. Vancouver renters deserve better and I will be a voice at the city council table who truly represents a new generation of Vancouverites.”
Diego Cardona is Vision Vancouver's candidate in the October 14 by-election for one City Council seat and nine Vancouver School Board seats. You can learn more about him here.