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Affordable housing rally today in Vancouver

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Advocates pushing for change as they claim a lack of housing affordability in BC is impacting the economy

Vancouver rally draws focus to housing affordability as groups push for change ahead of BC Budget Day

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Hundreds are set to gather in Downtown Vancouver this afternoon to send a message about the ongoing affordability crisis.

Christina Gower with the Affordability Action Hub says her group is looking for movement on four points: housing affordability, housing security, eliminating legal loopholes exploited by speculators, and increasing supply.

She feels the affordability crisis is starting to have consequences on the local economy.

“In Downtown Vancouver, the businesses can’t hire people that are low-paying wages that ordinarily are able to live in the city and they can’t anymore and businesses are folding because of property taxes and [they’re] not able to open because they don’t have staff and really our communities are dying.”

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The rally comes two days ahead of the provincial budget, which Gower hopes fills in some of the blanks left in the Throne Speech, when it comes to housing.

“What we’ve done with our group basically is begin to develop an umbrella group under which all housing advocates can network and try and make a stronger voice, so that the government really understands that we need to act immediately, very swiftly, on this housing crisis.”

The hub includes advocates from HALT, Richmond FarmWatch, and Pets OK BC, among others.

“We are in this together. We are not 100 per cent all affected in this province yet, but it could work out that we are and we need to prevent that and reverse some of the problems that we’re having.”

The event is called Rally for Affordable Housing Action and it’s being held at Jack Poole Plaza in Downtown Vancouver from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.