Plan promises to create 25,000 units for low to medium incomes, cut red tape for small-medium developers and homeowners, and triple empty homes tax
Vancouver - Today, Vancouver mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart unveiled the first of his two-part housing platform to make Vancouver affordable for everyone. The plan prioritizes 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.
“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 live here,” said Stewart. “To make sure our city works for everyone, we need to make sure we have housing that’s affordable for everyone.”
This plan, which focusses on both demand- and supply-side issues, is the result of months of extensive consultation with renters, homeowners, architects, small developers and non-profits. Key promises include:
Building More Affordable Housing: Build 25,000 new non-profit affordable rental homes over the next ten years for those households 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.
Speeding Up Permitting: 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.
Fighting Speculation: Triple the empty homes tax; protect between one-third and one-half of all new homes from foreign speculation; and bring in tough new conflict of interest rules and a lobbyist registry.
“We need to take tough measures to fight the speculation that is rampant within our city. This includes getting big money influence out of city hall and protecting our local housing market from global financial forces and speculators,” continued Stewart. “I vow to make sure we’re building homes for local people and families, not foreign investors.”