Forward Together's Five-Point Housing Plan

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Mark Hosak

1. Approving and enabling 220,000 new homes over next ten years including:

  • 140,000 market rental, below market rental, social housing, and co-operatives
  • 40,000 new ground-oriented homes for purchase by the middle class
  • 40,000 full market condos or townhomes for purchase

2. Extending the toughest renter protections in Canada across the whole city and adding permanent vacancy control to many new rental units.

  • City-wide renter protections that borrow from the Broadway Plan would mean that no renter would see their rents go up in the event their building is redeveloped. 
  • Enhanced protections include paid relocation to and from interim housing, developer-backed subsidy for any rent increase, right of first refusal to return to newly developed property at the same or lower rent, and vacancy control mechanisms to guarantee these rents remain 20 per cent below CMHC’s city-wide average for the life of the building.
  • These city-wide renter protections will help to channel development away from existing rental buildings and towards parts of the city off limits to renters today – unlocking affordable and sustainable housing city-wide. 

3. Modernizing public hearings and permitting to be more efficient

  • Continue the active and ongoing cooperation with the Province of British Columbia to make regulatory adjustments to the Vancouver Charter so as to expedite the approval and permitting of rental and social housing as authorized by Council under the new Broadway Plan.
  • Continue to build upon the success of the Internal Development Application and Permitting Modernization Task Force lead by the City Manager which has, for example, reduced permitting times for low-complexity renovations to as little as two weeks.

4. Creating new specialized project approval teams for large impact projects 

  • Specialized planning teams for all major projects to speed up decisions and cut red tape.
  • Modelled on the River District team which efficiently produces thousands of new homes.
  • Major projects include: Broadway Plan; North and South False Creek; Senakw, Molson Site; Old St Paul’s Hospital; Jericho Lands; Heather Lands; Champlain Heights; 29th Avenue, Renfrew, Rupert, Nanaimo SkyTrain stations; and doubling the number of co-ops on city-owned land.

5. Maintaining the Empty Homes Tax at at least five per cent

  • Continue to push empty homes back onto the housing market. 
  • Focus on providing homes for women and children, including those fleeing violence.

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Executive Director of Forward Together with Kennedy Stewart.