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City of Vancouver approves new housing strategy

Last Updated Nov 30, 2017 at 7:12 am PDT

Vancouver City Hall (Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

'This is a smoke screen': NPA Councillor

Housing strategy includes 72,000 homes over the next decade for people who live and work in Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The City of Vancouver has approved a new housing strategy. That strategy includes 72,000 homes over the next decade for people who live and work in Vancouver. New co-ops, rental apartments and townhouses are also part of the plan.

NPA Councillor Melissa De Genova says the strategy is vague, adds bureaucracy and doesn’t actually address the problems within the market.

“Many of the individuals that we heard from who spoke in support of this, said that they didn’t truly support the policy, they just wanted to see some movement in affordable housing, so they would have supported anything.”

She says the city should focus on speeding up the approval process so builders can actually add housing to the city.

“Unfortunately, Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver would prefer to pretend they are doing something about it than actually roll up their sleeves and really start to make housing affordable.”

Robertson is much more optimistic about the plan.

“Our newly approved Housing Vancouver strategy is a bold, forward-thinking plan that was directly informed by what we heard from local residents: we need urgent action now to ramp up not just the supply of housing, but the right kind of supply,” says Robertson in a release.

“Housing Vancouver builds on measures the City is already taking that are the first of their kind in Canada-the empty homes tax, temporary modular housing for our most vulnerable residents, and regulating short-term rentals-and includes strategies that go after real estate speculation, offer more protection for renters and will transform single-family neighbourhoods across the city. This comprehensive approach will help us maintain Vancouver’s diversity and vibrancy, and create more affordable housing options for young people, growing families, seniors and our most vulnerable residents.”

De Genova maintains this only appears to be taking action to help.

“In this plan, we are talking about a tactical response team for housing. I found out that would cost $700,000 but they still can’t tell me what that team will do. This is a smoke screen.”

Here is the presentation that was given to Council.