Vancouver BC, September 29, 2017 – Vision’s proposal to revive the “Vancouver Special” housing model from the 1980’s is another example of the half-measures and too-little-too-late offerings Vancouver voters have come to expect of the current Council.
Because of Vision Vancouver’s inaction, it remains illegal to construct new purpose-built rental homes on nearly 80% of the city’s residential land. Gregor Robertson and his Vision dominated Council have upheld this anti-renter zoning for all nine years they have been in charge.
Yesterday Vancouver voters were given the next chapter in this tradition of incremental half-measures as the response to a housing crisis.
Vision’s plan continues to rely on trusting wealthy artisanal landlords and property developers to fix the crisis by building more basement suites and luxury condos. Judy Graves is calling on Vision Vancouver and the rest of Council to introduce new Affordable Zoning to open up the entire city to purpose-built affordable rentals and co-ops.
“Half of the city are renters. How can we solve the housing crisis if it’s illegal to build purpose-built rentals in three quarters of the city?” Judy Graves commented. “We don’t think there’s any neighbourhood of Vancouver that’s ‘too good’ for renters to live in. Vision’s call for a new ‘Vancouver Special’ isn’t enough - renters deserve better than basements, attics, and glorified garages. The city needs to start building dedicated 3-6 storey rental units across the city that are rented out at 30% of the tenants’ income and guaranteed as affordable, forever.”
As a former Coordinator of Tenant Assistance, Judy Graves understands the insecurity renters face without proper protections and a dangerously low vacancy rate. “City Hall needs to take responsibility for this crisis by actively defending renters and building the homes people desperately need.”
This by-election is about sending a message to Gregor and his Vision team that we need local solutions on the table and real action from City Hall. Vision’s “affordable” housing policy might be good for property developers and wealthy donors, but it does too little to help the majority of the city.
Judy Graves is the only candidate offering the courage and common sense needed to tackle this housing crisis head-on.
Media Contact: Tyler Michaels