Housing Roundtables in Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton draw attention to affordability

October 17, 2016 | News

October 17, 2016 - Mayor Gregor Robertson met with Vancouver residents today to discuss their struggle to buy or rent in an unaffordable housing market. In partnership with Generation Squeeze, the Mayor’s Roundtable focused on housing affordability for residents under 40, and included participants from across the City facing a variety of challenges in accessing affordable housing in Vancouver.

The event was one of three “Day of Housing” roundtables held by the Mayors of Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton as part of an on-going campaign to highlight the need for federal action and investments in affordable housing and homelessness programs in Canadian cities.

“Vancouver’s housing crisis is impacting people of all ages and neighbourhoods, with young people being hit especially hard,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver is doing everything we can to protect and build affordable homes, using all tools available to ensure the best use of all our housing, but we need the support of senior governments to deepen affordability and support both owners and renters in this tough market. The federal government’s National Housing Strategy is a tremendous opportunity to up the ante on investments in affordable housing.”

The Toronto roundtable, hosted by Mayor John Tory, also focused on housing affordability for residents under the age of 35. Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Big City Mayors' Caucus, focused his discussion on issues of homelessness.

"Housing is an issue that effects Toronto residents at every age, and every income level,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “One of the reasons we need our federal partners to take action on housing is so young, talented people can afford to live and work in Toronto, our economy can grow and our city can continue to compete.”

“We are advocating for a continuum of housing needs in our cities because everyone deserves a place to call home,” says Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. “Every dollar we advocate for can make the difference to end the cycle of homelessness.”

The “Day of Housing” Roundtables follow the Toronto Housing Summit on September 30, where the Big City Mayors' Caucus presented the federal government with seven principles to inform their National Housing Strategy. Among those principles were a call to take action to spark construction and growth in the rental sector, and a call to end homelessness.

On Oct. 26-27, the City of Vancouver will host The Re:Address Summit, bringing together 500 internationally renowned leaders to tackle housing challenges.