Housing is for Homes First, Not Speculation

On a rainy Sunday morning in East Vancouver, Vision Vancouver’s Council candidates launched their plan to deliver affordable housing for people in every neighbourhood - and warned voters what's at stake if the NPA or other right-wing parties get control of Vancouver City Council.

“If you want a Council that makes sure housing is for people first, if you want a Council that will be tough on housing speculators, vote for the Vision team on October 20th,” said Council candidate Catherine Evans. “Vision Vancouver’s new team of candidates means solid votes for affordable housing; and solid votes for housing action across the board on behalf of all people who want to call Vancouver home."

The Vision Vancouver team - Heather Deal, Diego Cardona, Catherine Evans, and Tanya Paz - will make make life better for Vancouver residents by fighting for:

  • More City-built affordable housing, including co-ops; as a first step, the Vision team will have the City identify the next 20 sites of City land for Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Agency to develop, as part of a comprehensive plan to build 88,000 new affordable housing units over the next 10 years;

  • Expanding co-op housing; as a first step, the Vision team will have the City deliver a fair renewal of the 10 most urgent co-op leases on City land;

  • Speeding up permits for new housing; as a first step, the Vision team will get the City to get front-line staff any additional resources they need for the city to have the fastest permit processing time in the region;
  • More housing options for people, including triplexes, rowhouses and townhouses in single-family neighbourhoods across Vancouver, this will build on the City’s Making Room program and its plan for duplexes across the city; and

  • Tripling the empty homes tax, from 1% to 3%, to get more people into vacant homes,
    to crack down on speculation that’s driving prices up, and to put more money into affordable housing initiatives in every neighbourhood.

Vision will take additional measures to deliver more affordable housing for people. That includes expanding temporary modular housing, cracking down on slum landlords, ensuring adequate shelter space, and addressing indigenous homelessness as part of Vision’s commitment to reconciliation. Vision will be relentless in tackling poverty, income inequality, mental health and addiction. Vision’s school board candidates will also work to pilot a Housing for Education program that will help public schools hire and retain teachers.

The only way Vancouver will continue to make progress is by rejecting the NPA and the other right-wing parties and their old fashioned, out-of-touch plans for the city.

“The Vision team are taking on the NPA head-on - there is too much at risk in this election to ignore how their ideas would take Vancouver backwards,” Council candidate Heather Deal said. “I’ve sat on City Council with the NPA for many years and I can tell you that their positions on housing are not what our city needs.”

Here is what voters need to be most concerned about from the NPA and its offshoots:

  • The NPA will scrap the empty homes tax, putting $30 million into the pockets of housing speculators instead of into affordable housing for people;

  • The NPA will try to shut down emergency drop-in centers for the homeless like they did during the extreme cold weather of January 2017;

  • The NPA will scrap missing middle options for people like duplexes;

  • The NPA will gut tough new AirBNB regulations, and start a rush of long-term rentals for people being converted back into short-term rentals, meaning fewer homes and higher rents.

“This is going to be a close election and the Mayor is only one vote. To make sure Vancouver stays focused on making life better for people, we need progressive majorities at all levels. The only way to be sure to stop the NPA and their offshoots is to vote for progressive candidates committed to moving this city forward - including the Vision team for Council and Vision’s principled, progressive candidates for school board and park board,” Evans said.