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Multiplex plan not a serious enough solution to our housing crisis: Boyle

“This is the biggest land use change in Vancouver in decades. But that is part of the problem. The scale of the housing crisis today requires much bolder action.”

Vancouver (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territories) - Following the passage of the City of Vancouver’s Multiplex plan, Councillor Christine Boyle issued the following statement:

“Congratulations to ABC on passing the last Council’s housing plan. The zoning changes approved by Council tonight are better than doing nothing, which is why I supported them. But with only 200 multiplexes per year projected to stem from this policy - perhaps even fewer if borrowing and building costs continue to rise - this is not the serious response that our housing crisis requires.

"This is the biggest land use change that Vancouver has made in decades. That, alone, made this policy a must-pass. But that also points to the problem. City staff have worked hard on this for years, but the simple fact is that this change should have been made ten years ago. The scale of the housing crisis today requires much bolder action. And it requires bold political leadership to make it happen.

"There are many ways this proposal could have been strengthened. We could look to eliminate floorspace limits, similar to peer cities like Toronto. We could increase the allowable height. We could reduce, or eliminate, the required density bonus charge. But at this point in the process, any of these amendments would have required a new, time consuming, public hearing. And when it comes to housing in Vancouver, we are already too far behind.

"We should be looking toward the next big change in land use - to go much further, much faster, to build the homes we need. We need to end the apartment ban, and allow six floors and corner stores, everywhere in this city.

"I’ve consistently fought for this during my time in public office. During the Vancouver Plan process last term, I successfully moved an amendment to explore allowing 4-6 story rental housing in every residential neighbourhood. Council will hear back from staff on that amendment this Fall. 

"And during the last election campaign, I challenged ABC to join my call to end our city’s apartment ban, and legalize rental, social and condo apartments on every street in Vancouver.

"To date, Ken Sim and ABC have not replied to that challenge.  But there’s still time left for them to prove that they’re serious about making this city more affordable. They have the power to legalize rental, condo and social housing on every street in this city - if they choose to use it.

"We can build an affordable city - and a safe, healthy, green city, where people live near where they work, spend money near where they live, and create less pollution while they move. But we can’t do it if we move this slowly. Because here’s the reality: if this is the most significant housing policy change this Council makes in our four year term, we will have failed current and future residents. 

"Families are hurting. They’re fleeing our city. Our housing crisis demands seriousness, bold action and strong leadership on affordability.”

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