The City of Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) is taking steps to build 400 new affordable homes on four City-owned sites, worth $50 million. These sites are the first four of the 20 City-owned sites offered to senior levels of government to build affordable homes in partnership with VAHA.
Housing affordability is the top issue we hear about the most at City Hall, and is a top priority for Council.
Too many residents are struggling to find affordable homes. There's no single solution, but we’re focused on using every tool we can to create and protect affordable homes in Vancouver. Here are some of the actions we took at City Hall this year:
Yesterday, I met with representatives of the “Our Homes Can’t Wait” campaign in the Downtown Eastside to discuss issues of housing affordability and poverty in the neighbourhood. It was a good meeting with a clear articulation from residents about their frustrations with stagnant welfare rates, rising housing costs, and a dire need for renewal of decrepit SRO rooms in the neighbourhood. I was joined by Councillor Andrea Reimer and several senior members of our housing, planning and community services staff.
Several agreements came out of the meeting.
I’ve been calling on the Province for over a year to take bold action on our overheated housing market and address the impacts of unregulated, speculative global capital on local real estate. The year-over-year price gains we’ve seen are not sustainable and put our City’s economy at risk. Today’s legislation is a major acknowledgement by the Province that they have an important role to play in the housing market and affordability is not simply an issue for municipalities to deal with.