On its first day in office, COPE will declare a “State of Emergency” to solve the affordable housing crisis.
COPE will end the influence of real estate corporations at City Hall by banning corporate donations.
COPE will build a Vancouver Housing Authority that will:
- Follow the ten recommendations made in the 98 page report published in April 2014 titled Ending the Housing Crisis: International best-practices for creating a Vancouver Housing Authority.
- Have developer powers to construct housing, including low-end and regular market housing, to generate surplus revenues and to achieve significant market share to undercut monopoly developer profits.
- Make use of the strong private market and direct CACs and DLCs toward the social and affordable housing.
- Implement a luxury housing tax through a Charter amendment and/or property tax increase supplemented with grant/rebates for value of homes under $1.5M.
- Use Vancouver’s Property Endowment Fund’s annual returns to purchase properties for Housing Authority housing projects.
- Use increased lobbying power and revenue to leverage additional matching funds from higher levels of government.
- Seek ongoing capital investment through partnership with the British Columbia Municipal Pension Plan, including using the City’s Pension Plan capital reserves.
- Build 800 units of city-run social housing per year, including at least 400 units inside the Downtown Eastside to replace private Single Room Occupancy Hotels.
COPE will replace all 4,000 units of privately owned low-income hotel rooms in the Downtown Eastside with quality social housing over the next ten years. Social housing will be affordable to low-income residents.
COPE will implement an immediate moratorium on condo development in the DTES and stop gentrification and displacement.
COPE will approve at least twice as much floor area of new rental housing construction in its first term of office as City Council approved between 2008 and 2014.
COPE will increase rental-housing construction enough to ensure that the residential rental vacancy rate is at least 2% by 2018, and the median real rent paid by tenant households is lower in 2018 than in 2014.
COPE will stop issuing demolition or renovation permits that result in renovictions.
COPE will amend the Single Room Accommodation by-law to define Single Room Occupancy Hotel conversion to include raising rents above welfare- and pension-level shelter rates, and to increase SRO-conversion fees to those recommended by the Carnegie Community Action Project.
COPE will apply strict rent controls to all new large housing developments, using the City’s zoning and housing agreement powers.
COPE will create a Municipal Rent Control by-law to bring rents down across the city.
COPE will establish an elected Rent Control Board, with tenant representation and independence from the real estate industry.
COPE will work with other municipalities to advocate that the provincial government tie rent increases to the rental unit, not to the tenancy, and implement a province-wide rent-freeze.
COPE will create a Landowner and Landlord Registry database that will:
- Register and License Landowners and Landlords
- List all rental units, rents, and rent increases.
- Track all health, safety, maintenance, and tenancy disputes.
- Be funded, in full or part, by Registration and Licensing fees.
- Create incentives for property owners to register and rent-out suites and rooms legally.
- Monitor and apply penalties for vacant or underutilized properties.
COPE will enforce and strengthen municipal housing maintenance standards. This includes enforcing existing minimum fines and powers to seek injunctions for neglect and disinvestment. It also includes proactive investigations of maintenance, up to and including seizing rental properties that fall behind on bylaw fine payments.
COPE will support and fund citywide Tenant Unions.
COPE will create a Squatters Rights bylaw drawing upon frameworks from other cities.
COPE will create a Rental Housing Ombudsperson.