HOUSING AFFORDABILITY PRIORITIES
Vancouver does not have a housing crisis: Vancouver has a housing affordability crisis.
In the last 15 years, for each new household in the region, the developing community has built 1.19 net new units of housing. There are reportedly 66,000 unoccupied dwellings and some 40,000 units under construction.
Vancouver has plenty of housing but is lacking the RIGHT housing. We need entry-level housing. We need a purpose-built new rental and co-op housing stock. Let’s face it: No millionaire is having a problem finding a home; however, our middle-class is priced out-of-the market and often struggles to pay punishingly high rent.
Coalition Vancouver’s housing affordability priorities are as follows:
REPEAL “MAKING ROOM” MISTAKE
In the final two months of Vision Vancouver’s stewardship, Council passed massive rezoning, threatening both the character and livability of many neighborhoods. We will repeal the so-called “Making Room” plan.
Coalition Vancouver is 100% for the people. We are not financed by big business, developers, nor are we beholden to special interest-groups, promoting specific or ideological agendas.
We know each neighborhood is unique. Therefore, all densification must be consistent with the needs of each neighborhood and implemented with support from all major stakeholders.
ZONING OF ADDITIONAL RENTAL UNITS IN EXISTING NEIGHBOURHOODS
We will allow zoning for one additional rental unit per free-standing home, or one laneway house, in neighborhoods that support this additional density. This will boost the availability and affordability of rental housing, in the short-term. Coalition Vancouver understands the need to deliver housing for all stages of life. This will be part of a comprehensive, city-wide, neighborhood-friendly City Plan.
FREEZE THE SELL OFF OF CITY-OWNED LAND
We will not sell off City land. Not one square inch. Period.
City-owned land should be preserved for amenities, facilities, parks and accommodating future needs.
Unlike the other parties, Coalition Vancouver will not sell off land cheaply, enabling developers to build more high-rise luxury condos, thereby fueling speculation and higher home prices. We will focus on building affordable housing on city-owned land.
COMPLETE A REVIEW OF THE CITY PLAN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 23 YEARS
We will have a comprehensive, community-supported City Plan for the first time in 23 years. Coalition Vancouver will ensure the heritage-home policy is acceptable to both neighborhoods and the City. That means neighborhood committees will determine which pre-World War II homes must be preserved in their original design. All other properties will fall under the new City plan. This collaborative process of engaging communities, residents and heritage groups will be the foundation of the new City Plan, including zoning and development policies. We foresee gentle densification, preserving the character and livability of neighborhoods.
Historically, the City’s population grows less than 1% each year. So growth is manageable, and densification must happen within an updated City Plan, which is centred on major transportation hubs including SkyTrain.
Coalition Vancouver believes the public must shape the city’s future – not just special-interest groups.
IMPROVING EFFICIENCY OF PLANNING AND APPROVALS
The City’s approval process four times longer than the approvals in neighboring cities. Delays are aggravated by over 100 different development applications. There is far too much red-tape. Moreover, building and development fees account for about half the cost of condo construction. To some extent, the updated City Plan will simplify approvals, but Coalition Vancouver will streamline processes, whilst maintaining the quality of developmental oversight.
MILLENNIAL PLUS – AN OWNERSHIP PLAN FOR VANCOUVER
For about $1,500 a month, we will make young people and the less advantaged the next generation of homeowners in Vancouver. We will approve builds of new Millennial Plus owner-occupied condo units in the city centre and around transit hubs. These 300 square foot units will cost $300,000 at market rate (under $1,000 per square foot). With a $45,000 down payment, mortgages will be $1,500 per month (including condo fees, insurance, and tax). This will enable young adults earning $40,000 per year to afford ownership in the city proper. These smaller condos will have efficient layouts tailored to young professionals seeking entry into the world of home ownership. Located near transit hubs and in the city centre, owners will not need to own cars to get around the city (like they did when they needed to commute long-distance). For a cost comparable to renting, ownership can be within reach.
We will use zoning and tax policy to steer this construction around transportation hubs suited for Millennial Plus owner-occupied housing units and new purpose-built rental and co-op housing stock. These two categories of housing will be the focus of new builds for Vancouver residents.
(See Appendix for details on Millennial Plus.)