Affordable housing is a big challenge in Vancouver. I want to share with you some of the recent steps we've taken at City Hall -- and the specific requests we've made to the BC and Federal governments.

I believe that housing should be first and foremost about homes, not speculative investments. And that when we're approving new developments, that they meet the needs of local residents, like students, young families, or seniors.

In the past month, we've approved a number of new policies at City Hall. These include:

  • Committing 7 sites of city-owned land to be used by our Affordable Housing Agency to deliver more than 800 new homes
  • Approving new incentives for rental buildings to include more three bedroom units
  • Preparing a new Family Housing Rezoning Policy, to get new townhouses and duplexes built near parks and schools

These policies will deliver new housing for people on low and middle incomes, but supply is just one part of the solution. We need new tools from the BC government to create a more level playing field in the housing market.

That's why I asked the Premier to consider new ideas like an increased luxury home sales tax, with the funds going back into affordable housing programs, and measures to discourage the quick resale, or 'flipping,' of homes.

I want to be clear: no single policy will provide a magic solution to the cost of housing. But our housing market has changed from where it was 10 or 20 years ago. We need to look at new ideas, and call on senior levels of government to get involved.

That's especially the case with the Federal Government, who is selling off public land and retreating from housing. This is the wrong approach -- cities across Canada need an active federal government that supports affordable housing. In an election year, I urge you to make affordable housing an issue and press all candidates on where they stand.

We've got a lot more work ahead of us. Thanks for your support.

Gregor