Today, the Mayor’s Blue-Ribbon Housing Affordability Task Force released their recommendations regarding Vancouver’s housing crisis. However, there are major flaws in the plan that will prevent it from making Vancouver more affordable.
COPE’s Ellen Woodsworth said: “There’s nothing in this plan to deal with renters’ rights and renovictions, and any task force that doesn’t address this isn’t going to be addressing one of the major causes of the problem.” Woodsworth herself was renovicted this summer.
Woodsworth thinks that it is shocking to call it a Housing Affordability Task Force Report when it ignores the over 20% of renters in Vancouver whose income is under $21,000. “Where are the solutions for the 20% who are low income, including youth, seniors and immigrants?”
COPE will be releasing its own recommendations next week.
Former COPE councillor Tim Louis said that several of the core Task Force recommendations are actually counter-productive. “They’re talking about putting experts from the development industry in charge of the proposed Housing Authority. That’s a real contrast with COPE’s platform which promises to put accountable community representatives in the driver’s seat. Another problem is they’re talking about weakening the 20% social housing requirement in parts of the city, when in fact we really need to strengthen it.”
“We can’t rely on developer-dependent parties to solve the housing crisis in Vancouver. The Housing Task force didn’t have any low-income tenants or housing advocates on it, and the interests of its members don’t align with increased affordability,” said Louis. “Only COPE, the party that doesn’t take money from developers, can be trusted to solve the housing crisis.”
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