Vancouver BC, October 10, 2017 -- ln the midst of Vancouver’s most unaffordable rental market in history, Judy Graves has called on City Council candidates to support city-wide affordable zoning changes that would open every neighbourhood to building new purpose-built affordable rental and co-op housing.
Under current zoning - upheld for the last 9 years by the Vision-led City Council - it is illegal to build purpose-built rentals on almost 80% of the city’s residential land. In the final days of the election, Judy is calling onother City Council candidates to join her in supporting the end of anti-renter zoning regulations that prevent the creation of new affordable rentals.
Graves argues that all of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods must be opened up to renters, who she says deserve rent-controlled, purpose-built housing. “Half of the city are renters. How can we solve the housing crisis if it’s illegal to build affordable rental buildings in three-quarters of Vancouver? I don’t think there’s any neighbourhood in the city that’s too good for renters, and I want to use my 39 years of experience to create inclusive and affordable neighbourhoods we can all share,” commented Graves.
NPA candidate Hector Bremner would take Vision’s market-driven approach even further, calling for “cutting red tape” to fix the so-called “supply crisis.” Gutting regulations would simply create a free-for-all for luxury developers and “reno-victing” landlords. Vision Vancouver has been in power for nine years during which these policies were kept in place.
In spite of having a seat on council, the Green Party has not fought hard enough for renters’ issues in council, and Pete Fry’s plan has not taken a position on city-wide re-zoning for rental. Meanwhile, Jean Swanson campaign has focused on a “Rent Freeze” that falls under Provincial legislation, and would freeze rents at their current unaffordable prices. The average one-bedroom in Vancouver currently rents out for $2,090 a month.
Judy urged the city to take immediate action immediately, arguing that “freezing unaffordability is not a real solutions to the housing crisis -- especially if you are against building new rentals in most neighbourhoods in Vancouver. We need thousands and thousands of new, affordable, rent-controlled units across the city. Step one in doing that is to end exclusionary zoning that stops them from being built in the first place. I hope the other Council candidates will stand with me on this common-sense issue.”
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Media Contact: Tyler Michaels