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Feds face challenges for blanket affordable housing strategy

Last Updated Nov 21, 2017 at 6:20 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

The feds are expected to unveil their much-anticipated national housing strategy this week

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The affordable housing crunch isn’t just a problem in our province, which is why the federal government is set to release a new strategy later this week. But would a solution that works for Toronto also work in Vancouver?

The director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, Andy Yan, says the federal government is challenged to solve issues in urban, suburban, rural, remote communities and First Nations’ reserves with a blanket strategy that covers many different economies.

“You see a place like British Columbia now, being more dependent on real estate than Alberta is on oil,” he says. “What does that mean toward the kind of federal types of intervention that can occur in housing compared to what the provinces are going to have to do?”

Yan says the it’s difficult to find a one-size-fits-all approach that works everywhere.

“This is a means of touching to that reality of people who are life-long renters, on top of those who really are going to be renters — whether they like it or not — for the rest of their lives. And this is a means of mitigating the effects of high rents.”

We won’t know the full plan until the government releases it on Wednesday, the same day Vancouver unveils its own housing plan.

In Vancouver, Yan thinks we will see a series of policies that deal with things like foreign buyers, the issue of zoning for ownership or rentals, transportation — with the aim of impressing voters ahead of the civic election.

“[Perhaps] they’ll start zoning for ownership or rental — largely around transit stations, knowing that renters, by far, take transit to work [more often] than owners.”

Yan thinks we will see a series of policies that deal with transportation, foreign buyers, and the issue of zoning for ownership or rentals.