Image of Christine Boyle and Khelsilem Art & Culture
January 28, 2019

Councillors Christine Boyle and Khelsilem Discuss Housing Affordability on This is Vancolour

On the latest episode of the This is Vancolour podcast, Vancouver City Councillor Christine Boyle and Squamish First Nation Councillor Khelsilem chat with host Mo Amir and dive deep into the issues affecting our region.

And it’s no surprise that housing and affordability remain the most important issue of the day. In this episode, both councillors offer solutions on how the City can build more housing while meeting the objective of making Vancouver more affordable.

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For all of Vancouver’s history, one thing has been invariably true: we prize our public spaces, our parks and waterfront especially, and we’re prepared to pay well for them.

A recent council motion in December – one of many made by the new council on its first budget – seemed to suggest that funding direction might be changing. Less money for urban improvements, more for affordable housing.

In April, 2016, the previous Council approved the closure of 800 Robson Street to motor vehicle traffic to fulfil the original vision of Arthur Erickson: a permanent public plaza, a seamless part of Robson Square from Art Gallery to Court House.

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As Vancouver and Seattle engage in discussion about new forms of housing in what were once single-family housing zones, other cities are already deep in the debate or have already taken action.  Like Minneapolis:

From Strong Towns:

Minneapolis just took a huge step toward becoming a stronger city by passing an ambitious new housing reform … allowing every neighborhood to evolve gradually to the next increment of development.

Duplexes and triplexes will now be allowed in every neighborhood citywide, most of which were formerly reserved for nothing but single-family houses.

Debate is happening at the legislative level in Oregon and California, as you might expect, but here’s a place where you wouldn’t: Grand Rapids:

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So far, the opposition has the momentum – to newer, denser development in the region.

The District of North Vancouver Council turning down the Delbrook and Edgemont Village rezonings is the most jaw-dropping.  But similar responses are seen in Port Moody and White Rock.  In Vancouver, it’s unclear.

What will happen when significant development proposals come forward that aim to address the housing crisis?   Willwe then hear this message from councils: ‘No, this is too much, too fast – and, actually, we’re not in so much of a crisis that we can’t take time to rethink and replan.  This could take years.  So in the meantime, we’re not going to approve more projects that are opposed in the community and become controversial.’

Oh look, there’s one now.

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For an example of really good satire (when you can’t be sure it isn’t real), see the current Vancouver Glass*:

“It’s better than a giving a gift card to a restaurant that someone will always forget when they eventually go to that restaurant”

The whole piece with article is here.


* VG is “just one guy who decided to start anonymously running a satire site about Vancouver.”   Too good to remain anonymous.

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Uytae Lee of About Here recently teamed up with The Mix to do a short primer on the insanity that has been Vancouver’s housing market for the past decade-plus.

Consider it a stocking stuffer for the out-of-town urbanist in your life who still hasn’t gotten the full story.

The Mix’s website also includes a complete transcription of the video.

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