“Only COPE can be trusted to build a Vancouver everyone can afford,” says Meena Wong
For immediate release
Wednesday October 8th, 2014
In 2008 Gregor Robertson promised to end homelessness. After six years of corporate tax breaks, luxury condo development, and renovictions, homelessness is at its highest level in recorded history. Today, while Vision is in court seeking to evict hundreds homeless people from Oppenheimer park, they are announcing that they want to make Vancouver affordable.
- Vision says it has adopted COPE’s idea for an Affordable Housing Authority. While COPE’s plan means the city will build and own affordable housing, under Vision’s plan the city won’t build or own a single unit of housing. According to Councillor Geoff Meggs it will be a “one-stop-shop” for developers. “This is all style and no substance, not the kind of leadership we need to solve the housing crisis,” said COPE’s Mayoral candidate Meena Wong.
- Vision says they have built new rental housing by giving tax-breaks to developers through the STIR and Rental 100 program. But the rents in these apartments are not affordable. “I don’t call $1,800/month for a one-bedroom suite affordable,” said Meena Wong.
- Vision says that they’re requiring that a portion of new developments to be for families. But every year 2% of children leave Vancouver public schools because they can’t afford to the cost of living. “New families can no longer imagine themselves building a life in this city. We need housing that families can afford,” said Meena Wong.
- Vision says that have offered a free swimming course. But Vision has increased community centre fees across the board. “Only COPE can be trusted to reduce community centre fees for everyone,” said Wong.
“Vision accepted over $1 million from the real estate industry last election, and now you see the results,” said Meena Wong. “Only COPE can be trusted to build a Vancouver everyone can afford. We don’t accept funding from property developers.”
So far this campaign, COPE has proposed concrete ideas that will make life more affordable immediately.
- Placing a duty on vacant properties to help fund our Housing Authority’s affordable and social housing.
- A ban on renovictions to stop evictions for cosmetic renovations and to ensure a right-of return for tenants at previous rents.
- Bringing in a Living Wage for all city employees and a $15/month minimum wage starting with large chain stores and hotels.
- Reducing the cost of a 3-zone bus pass from $170/month to $30/month for all Vancouver residents who want it.
Vision Vancouver has opposed all these plans. We can’t afford four more years of Vision. It’s time for bold ideas to reduce the cost-of-living and increase incomes.
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The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) is Vancouver’s oldest progressive electoral organization. Founded in 1968, it is a membership based organization that stands for affordability, environmental sustainability, and robust arts and culture. It last held a majority on Vancouver City Council, Parks Board, and School Board 2002-2005. More information is available at http://cope.bc.ca.