Today, head planner Gil Kelley updated Council on the Character Homes Review, the first of several updates and policies under the City’s Housing Reset. Over the past several months during this consultation I’ve heard overwhelmingly that affordability is the top concern for renters and home owners alike, and that people want to see more housing that meets their needs in our low and moderate density neighbourhoods.
Affordable Housing and Support for Renters
As Vancouver grapples with an unprecedented housing and affordability crisis that touches all incomes and neighbourhoods, City Council and staff are considering how we create many more homes in our low and moderate density neighbourhoods.
It’s always a treat to sit down with a group of people who care so passionately, and think with such depth, about Vancouver’s built environment.
I want to recognize ULI’s leadership in helping Metro Vancouver have a more informed public dialogue on issues of land use and livability
All of us want Vancouver to be a place where people can afford to live and work.
And today I want to focus my remarks on the one issue that I know we’re all focused on: the city’s new logo
Just kidding. That topic, of course, is housing, and the issue of affordability.
Mayor Robertson and Council have approved a new residential development at 1380-1382 Hornby/801 Pacific that will deliver 213 new homes - 65% of which are for families – and preserve Leslie House on Hornby Street. As part of the project, BC Artscape will develop a new, seven storey stand-alone community cultural hub that will provide an affordable space for professional artists to curate community programming.
Yesterday’s Census data showing a growing number of empty and underutilized homes in Vancouver is alarming, but not surprising. We know from BC Hydro data across Vancouver that there are 10,800 year-round empty homes, which last year crystallized the City’s resolve to bring in Canada’s first Empty Homes Tax. Seeing data that shows there may be even more underutilized homes than BC Hydro suggests gives us more reason to aggressively move on the empty homes tax, and other measures that will help bring homes back within reach to residents in all corners of the city.
City Hall’s first public hearing of 2017 saw progress on delivering over 300 new homes in partnership between the City and non-profit sector: Vancouver Masonic Centre (149 new homes), Fair Haven United Church (137 new homes) and Covenant House (75 new shelter spaces). All three projects approved are being developed in partnership with BC Housing.