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Our City, Our Home

A real plan to make housing affordable for locals.

Vancouver is an amazing city, attracting people from across Canada and around the world.

But despite all the construction happening around us, everyone but the very wealthy is finding it harder and harder to find affordable housing.

As your mayor, housing affordability will be my number one priority.

My entire academic and professional career has focussed on cities and housing. I’ve worked in the City of Vancouver planning department. My PhD from the London School of Economics was about cities. I’ve written books and taught about cities as an SFU professor. I’ve provided policy advice to municipal, provincial, and national governments and the United Nations.

Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen what happens when we let market forces alone control the housing market. We need a different perspective. This plan is the result of months of extensive consultation with renters, homeowners, architects, small developers and non-profits. It’s comprehensive, it’s achievable, and it’ll mean true affordability for the people who live here.

"As your mayor, housing affordability will be my number one priority."

My plan is to prioritize non-profit housing solutions that are affordable to people with low-to-medium incomes, while at the same time encouraging the for-profit housing industry to provide homes within reach of first-time, local homebuyers.

To accomplish these goals, we need immediate and effective policies focussing on the demand for housing, and the supply of housing.

In terms of demand, we need to take tough measures to fight the speculation that is rampant in our city. This includes getting big money influence out of city hall and protecting our local housing market from global financial forces and speculators.

In terms of supply, we need to build more affordable housing – the kind of homes that are accessible to all incomes. I’ll immediately get to work building rental housing run by non-profits to house our workforce; cooperative housing for families; and supportive housing for the homeless and those with mental health and addiction issues.

I’ll also expedite the construction of market housing, with a focus on adding thousands of new market rental units.

To make sure our city works for everyone, we need to make sure we have housing that’s affordable for everyone.

 

Check out some highlights from my plan:

Build 25,000 new non-profit affordable rental homes over the next ten years

I’ll focus on building affordable rental homes for those making $80,000 a year or less, more non-market and supportive housing for our most vulnerable citizens, and targeted housing solutions for Indigenous Peoples, cultural communities, seniors, and people living with disabilities.

Speed up the permitting process by increasing staff and reducing red tape

As mayor, I will reduce unnecessary delays and confusion in the permitting process by adding more clerical staff and reorganizing city departments to untangle conflicting requirements – with special emphasis on reducing wait times for small- and medium-sized developers and homeowners.

Protect our 6,000 cooperative housing units by renewing city-held leases

I’ll give certainty to existing co-operative housing associations and build new co-op homes.

Providing homeowners more opportunities to develop their own properties

I’ll expand opportunities for more ground-oriented housing in our least dense neighbourhoods, including expediting the construction of triplexes and fourplexes on standard lots and removing barrier to converting large homes into multi-family residences.

Build 35,000 new condominiums, coach houses, and townhouses over the next decade

I’ll provide more affordable opportunities for first-time homebuyers and those looking to downsize in Vancouver.

Get Ottawa and Victoria back into housing permanently

I will use seven years of experience as a Member of Parliament to work with senior levels of government to create long-term housing funding and bring back tax rules to encourage the construction of rental buildings.

Allow duplexes across the city

Building more duplexes brings more affordable options for first-time homebuyers while retaining the character of our single-family neighbourhoods.

Revise Community Amenity Contributions

I’ll streamline and clarify the CAC process to deliver hard assets like affordable homes, childcare centres and affordable spaces for small business, non-profits, and the creative sector.

Better targets, better data

I’ve already helped deliver better housing data through my work in Ottawa as an MP but understand this needs to be more accessible to the public. I’ll bring in a real time, online dashboard to track key affordability metrics to ensure we stay on the right track.

Triple the empty homes tax

Homes need to be used for housing people, not sitting empty as speculative investments.

Protect between one-third and one-half of all new homes from foreign speculation

Uncontrolled foreign capital investment has driven up housing prices in cities all around the world. I’ll make sure we’re building homes for local people and families, not foreign investors.

Bring in tough new conflict of interest rules and a lobbyist registry

More transparency at city hall means more public trust in our decision making and preventing companies from influencing our housing policies. I will extend federal and provincial laws to the municipal level in Vancouver.

Build 25,000 new purpose-built rental apartments and laneway homes over the next decade

As mayor, I’ll work with for-profit builders to build more market rentals.

New Renters Advocate Office

To make sure renters are treated fairly and stop renovictions, this independent office would provide a one-stop shop for renters who need help. It would provide free information, advocacy, and legal assistance to renters during tenancy disputes and reinforce the city’s renoviction policy.

Fast-track purpose-built rentals

The city would increase resources to expedite purpose built rental developments through a new Purpose-built Rental Housing Office to provide a single point of contact and increased certainty for purpose-built rental developers.

Better enforce existing right of first refusal and relocation policies

I would task the new Renters Advocate Office to make sure our existing policies designed to protect rental housing stock and renters rights are strongly enforced and to recommend any additional measure to further protect affordable rental housing stock.

Expropriate troubled Single Room Occupancy buildings

The city, in partnership with senior governments and not-for-profit housing providers will replace all privately owned SROs with self-contained social housing and use its ability to expropriate ownership of those SROs that are being negligently managed and operated.

Rental zoning

I’ll immediately begin to use new rental zoning powers to build secure rental housing developments and renovations.

Better targets and better data

I will issue a new report within the first year outlining how to make life more affordable for renters, including reviewing current policies and examining new measures such as freezing rents and adjusting rules governing short term rentals.

Want to learn more?

Download a PDF version of my plan to make housing affordable for everyone, or sign up below to stay up to date as we roll out more on my platform.

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@KennedyStewart has a real plan to make housing affordable for locals. I'm with KennedyStewart for #Vancouver Mayor! #vanpoli
Our City, Our Home
I'm with @KennedyStewart for Vancouver Mayor 2018. #vanpoli #Kennedy18
Our City, Our Home