Plan promises to build 50,000 new rental units, new renters’ advocate office, fast-track purpose-built rentals
Vancouver – Today, Vancouver mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart unveiled the second half of his two-part housing platform, focussing on the needs of renters.
“More than half of households in Vancouver are renters and yet City Hall has been mainly geared towards homeowners,” said Stewart. “We need a city that not only understands renters but fights for them – when they are facing unfair rent hikes, when they are being renovicted, and when their buildings aren’t being maintained. I’m here today to tell the renters of this city, ‘Help is on its way.’ ”
The platform seeks to tackle the city’s low vacancy rate and high rents by adding thousands of new rental units while providing additional support to ensure renters are treated fairly. Key promises include:
Build Purpose-built Rental: Fast-track 25,000 new purpose-built market rental homes and laneway homes – in addition to the 25,000 new non-profit-run affordable rental homes announced on Monday –- for a total of 50,000 new rental homes over the next decade.
New Renters Advocate Office: Create a new renters’ advocate office to provide a one-stop shop for renters who need information, advocacy, and legal assistance during tenancy disputes and renovictions.
New Purpose-built Rental Housing Office: To streamline the rental development process, create a new purpose-built rental housing office to provide a single point of contact and increased certainty for purpose-built rental developers.
“This bold plan will finally start to move the needle on the vacancy rate, put downward pressure on rents, and help more families stay in the communities that they love,” continued Stewart. “It will also aid businesses of all sizes to attract and retain employees and help stabilize our local economy.”
The plan builds on the first part of Stewart’s platform, released Monday, which focusses on both demand and supply-side issues. The total plan commits to building 85,000 new homes over the next decade and is the result of months of extensive consultation with renters, homeowners, architects, small developers and non-profits.