November 29, 2017 (Vancouver, BC) - More Vancouver housing advocates and experts are coming out in support of the new Housing Vancouver Strategy, as Council gets set to hear public speakers on the report today.
“The Housing Vancouver Strategy is a bold, comprehensive plan to address our city’s housing crisis, and has been in development for more than a year,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The breadth of housing stakeholders who are speaking out in support of the strategy speaks to the excellent work our staff have done putting a plan together that ensures housing is for homes first, not just a commodity.”
“We are seeing non-profits, architects, planners, activists, service providers, builders and developers all saying this is the right approach for the City to take on housing. I urge all of City Council to approve this plan.”
Statements in support from housing stakeholders in Vancouver:
“The Housing Vancouver Strategy is an ambitious plan to address the housing needs of those who call Vancouver home, and those who want to call it home. The strategy is strongly aligned with Federal and Provincial investments into affordable rental housing, making its ambitious targets achievable. We look forward to continuing our work as partners with the City to secure affordability for generations to come.”
- Jill Atkey, Managing Director, BC Non-Profit Housing Association
“YWCA Metro Vancouver is a long-standing advocate and provider of safe, affordable housing for single mothers and their children. We know firsthand that access to affordable housing remains the biggest barrier in breaking the cycle of poverty for single mothers and commend the City of Vancouver for developing a housing strategy that addresses many of the interrelated challenges faced by single mothers as they work towards personal and economic independence. This is a positive step for housing affordability in the city and will make a real difference in the lives of families across Vancouver.”
- Janet Austin, CEO, YWCA Metro Vancouver
“The proposal to expand capacity in single-family neighbourhoods through laneway housing and more-than-one-family housing provisions can be achieved in a sensitive way that accommodates more people with modest impact over large areas of the City. Expanding the current direction on rowhouses is also smart. Similarly, opportunities to house more people in close proximity to transit just makes sense. And to expand provision of rental housing through the incentive of removing CACs outside the Downtown is long-awaited.
“The luxury of low-density housing is simply not supporting the majority of our citizens, who want more and better housing suited to their lifestyles and to the emerging character of our city. It's time to get on with these strategies now.”
- Gregory Borowski, Principal, Merrick Architecture
“I am very encouraged to see the steps that the City is taking with the proposed Housing Vancouver Strategy. It recognizes the complexity of the problem and moves beyond overly simplistic solutions. I am particularly pleased to see the need for broader changes in our single-family zones being part of the discussion.”
- Darryl Condon, Managing Partner, HCMA Architecture + Design
“We share the goal of enabling Vancouver households to access, own, and benefit from land and real estate development, as a way to achieve greater security and broaden the participation in wealth generation through the housing delivery system. Through this strategy, we also see many opportunities for Vancity to partner with the City and other organizations to help support the not-for-profit sector develop affordable housing in Vancouver and the region. We appreciate the great effort and work that City staff and leadership has put into this strategy.”
- Kira Gerwing, Manager, Community Business & Investment (Impact Real Estate), Vancity Credit Union
"The City of Vancouver has taken bold and progressive actions on housing through its Housing Vancouver Strategy to address the City's greatest challenges: providing affordable housing, increasing rental housing, and densifying its single-family neighbourhoods. This strategy is the most progressive and comprehensive of any Canadian city, and through a multi-faceted approach, has solid targets of increasing our housing supply by 72,000 over the next 10 years, with a 50% increase in rental supply with a significant portion targeted for those who need it most, low-income housing. But beyond its' ambitious targets, it outlines necessary implementation strategies that the City can take to support these actions- like adding staff resources and a housing centre to improve approvals times, co-ordination and processing for creative infill projects that are needed to meet these targets- we needed this! I think the leadership, creativity, consultation, and comprehensive thinking behind this strategy makes it one of the most unique and well-thought out policy solutions I have seen in a long time."
- Carla Guerrera, Principal and Founder, Purpose Driven Development, Planning and Strategy; ULI 40 Under 40 Global Land Use Professionals Award
"I think the City's plan to add more housing options across the landscape of the city - especially within its more exclusionary single-family residential neighbourhoods - is a substantive and positive step in the right direction. This moves us away from reserving land for millionaires and toward a more inclusive city. I'm also encouraged by Vancouver's continued work advocating for renters and focus on building badly needed new rental stock. Based on this plan, I look forward to more co-operation with provincial and federal partners in building up our stock of cooperative, social, and non-market housing."
- Nathanael Lauster, PhD, Associate Professor, Sociology, UBC; Author of The Death and Life Of The Single-Family House
“For a city to be great, it has to be great for everyone. We need to ensure that our most vulnerable have the basics covered - like access to stable and safe housing. Getting more affordable housing built as laid out in in this Housing Vancouver plan is a crucial step in the right direction.”
- Michael McKnight, President & CEO, United Way of the Lower Mainland
“By fast-tracking approval of non-profit and affordable rental housing near transit and amenities, Vancouver’s new housing strategy will ensure that public investments benefit the broadest range of people. This means a fairer, healthier and more resilient city.”
- Charles Montgomery, Principal, Happy City
“As housing prices rise faster than incomes, many Vancouver families cannot afford traditional single-family homes. We are looking for new housing choices somewhere between single-family homes and high-rise condos. The City’s 10-year strategy encourages innovations in low-density neighbourhoods — in terms of both ground-oriented forms and tenure models — that support diverse modern families. Vancouver's new housing strategy strengthens a people-centric approach — creating the right housing supplies to support the diversity of people in our city.”
- Mark Shieh, Tomo Spaces, Research-Driven Real Estate Company