For Immediate Release: July 28, 2011
This afternoon, Vancouver City Council passed two key amendments to the new 10 year Housing and Homelessness plan put forward by COPE City Councillors Ellen Woodsworth and David Cadman. The amendments came as part of a commitment by COPE to strengthen the plan in the face of an unprecedented affordability crisis in Vancouver.
“We needed to see a real commitment to investigate innovative policies that drive affordability,” said Councillor Cadman, “We’ve done just that today with Council agreeing to look at inclusionary zoning, a city run housing authority, and increased funding for land purchases.”
Councillor Cadman’s amendment will also direct staff to compile best practices for dealing with the preservation and creation of affordable housing from other jurisdictions, such as Toronto, New York, and London.
Councillor Woodsworth also successfully called for Mayor Robertson as newly elected chair of the Big Cities Caucus to take a leadership role on a national housing campaign. “We’ve been hearing for years how we as a city cannot get this job done without long-term Federal and Provincial funding commitments,” said Woodsworth. “This amendment is the first step in seeing that happen.”
Both Councillors said that today’s work at Council shows the strength of cooperation and thoughtful discourse that has become the hallmark of COPE’s approach to politics in Vancouver. “It’s clear that when we come together as a city and work cooperatively on our most critical challenges, we get real results.”
However, both also expressed surprise that the NPA’s Suzanne Anton voted no to the strategy. “First it was ‘no’ to bikes, then ‘no’ to the environment,” said Woodsworth. “Now it’s ‘no’ to affordable housing. It’s shocking.”