Mayor Stewart Announces Ambitious Five-Point Housing Plan
Triples new home targets, majority for middle- and low-income residents, protects renters
VANCOUVER, BC; September 13, 2022 – Today Mayor Kennedy Stewart and his Forward Together team announced an ambitious new five-point plan to approve and enable 220,000 new homes over the next ten years – triple the current Vancouver Housing Strategy target.
“Forward Together’s housing plan is the most ambitious in our city’s history,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and a deeply divided council we’ve managed to make good progress over the last four years, but I know we can do so much more if we elect a council that is focussed on solving the housing crisis today and for generations to come. That’s what our plan does. It’s big. It’s bold. It helps build a city for all of us, not just for the few.”
Forward Together’s Five-Point Housing Plan includes:
Approving and enabling 220,000 new homes over next ten years including:
- 140,000 market rental, below-market rental, social housing, and cooperatives
- 40,000 new ground-oriented homes for purchase by the middle-class
- 40,000 full market condos or townhomes for purchase
- Extending the toughest renter protections in Canada across the whole city and continuing to add permanent vacancy control to many new rental units
- Modernizing the public hearing and permitting process to be more efficient
- Creating new specialized project approval teams for large impact projects
- Maintaining the Empty Homes Tax at at least five per cent, focussing revenues on providing homes for women and children, including those fleeing violence
“Ten years ago the city approved a mere 4,000 homes, most of them were luxury condos,” said Stewart. “Last year we approved almost 9,000 new homes – the majority of which were market rental, below market rental, or social housing. Forward Together’s plan will dramatically accelerate action on housing by approving and enabling 220,000 new homes over the next ten years for young people, working families, seniors, and those in need.”
In addition to tripling new home targets, Forward Together’s plan also continues to modernize the public hearing and permitting process to be more efficient, and extends the toughest renter protections in Canada passed in the Broadway Plan across the city. If any current renter must relocate, that person will have the choice of being generously compensated for having to move or have the right to return to a replacement building at rents at or below what they currently pay. It also includes adding permanent vacancy control to many new rental units.
“I see on a daily basis how the housing affordability crisis is affecting people. I have lived in other big North American cities, but I had never seen a rental market that forced people to make impossible choices like Vancouver’s does,” said Dulcy Anderson, Forward Together Council Candidate. “Extending the Broadway Plan renter protections right across the city and continuing to add more permanent vacancy-controlled apartments is just what we need to help take some of the stress out of renting.”
“Like a lot of parents in Vancouver, I’m worried about where our kids will be able to afford to live,” said Russil Wvong, Forward Together Council Candidate. “Having more housing in Vancouver would make everyone better off, and continuing to modernize our approval and permitting processes will be a game changer in enabling more housing.”
While Forward Together proposes to build a city for all of us, Ken Sim’s ABC party recently announced he plans deep cuts to public services.
“Ken Sim has said he’ll cut $330 million – nearly 20 percent – from the City’s annual budget. This will gut the City’s ability to enable the housing we desperately need,” said Stewart. “We’re in a housing crisis – we can’t afford Ken Sim’s big cuts to housing and other essential public services.”
About Forward Together:
Forward Together is the electoral organization supporting Mayor Kennedy Stewart and his team of city council candidates – Tesicca Truong, Russil Wvong, Jeanette Ashe, Hilary Brown, Dulcy Anderson, and Alvin Singh – for this fall’s Vancouver municipal election.