Following the platform announcement by the NPA civic by-election candidate (who wants to see Vancouver-wide rezoning and higher housing density everywhere) more council candidates have joined the call.
So far, the calls for an end to Vancouver’s exclusionary zoning seem to be edging upward among many other ideas about improving housing affordability. There is also a steady drift towards improving availability and protection for those who prefer to rent.
With thanks to Mike Howell in the Vancouver Courier:
First: Pete Fry of the Green Party wants inclusionary zoning, plus support for renters:
. . . the party’s housing plan is focused on what can be achieved with existing tools at city hall. He, too, advocated for inclusionary zoning to create affordable housing and tie that type of housing to median local incomes.
Other measures include creating a city tenants’ office to support tenants and prevent “renovictions” and short-term rental conversions, provide incentives to build “truly affordable purpose-built” rental housing and streamline building codes and zoning bylaws to develop more forms of housing, including townhouses and row houses. . . .
Fry said the Vancouver Greens would work with their provincial counterparts, which struck an agreement with the ruling NDP government, to create strategies to address speculation on real estate and build more public housing.
Second: Judy Graves of OneCity wants new zoning city-wide, new taxes on the wealthy and on speculators, and income-based controls on rents.
Graves proposed a luxury property tax of 1.5 per cent on the wealthiest one per cent and 0.5 per cent on the wealthiest five per cent of residential property owners. She also wants all city-owned rental buildings to be rented at 30 per cent of a tenant’s income.
Creating a “flipping levy” to target speculators and opening up all neighbourhoods to inclusionary zoning, an approach that would tie affordable housing to a new development, are other ideas that Graves rolled out Tuesday as part of OneCity’s housing plan. . .
Although the party has described the plan as “made-in-Vancouver,” Graves acknowledged creating a luxury property tax and flipping level would require approval of the provincial government.
Third: Vision’s Diego Cardona puts his early focus on renters:
1. Putting the first $500,000 in excess revenue from the empty homes tax towards the Vancouver Rent Bank, which helps renters in crisis and prevents homelessness.
2. Creating a ‘Renters’ Advocate’ at City Hall. This position would be the City’s point person when dealing with the Residential Tenancy Branch, and help support renters when dealing with illegal evictions. . . .
3. Advocating for more pet-friendly rental housing. . . .
4. Diego will support Vision’s advocacy to the BC government and will continue to stand up for renters by working to stop unfair evictions, go after bad landlords, and make life easier for renters with measures like closing the fixed-term lease loophole in the Residential Tenancy Act.
[Ed. my apologies for the partial post of this early today. Workers cut our electricity without warning this morning, and somehow WordPress posted my ab initio draft. I did not find this out until later when I dragged my portable to the local coffee shop].