COPE, THE COALITION OF PROGRESSIVE ELECTORS

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 22 JANUARY 2018
Vancouver, BC
COPE CO-CHAIR CONTACTS:
Rider Cooey, 604 872 1382
Connie Hubbs, 604 910 6719

Civic Housing Policy: An Electoral Challenge and Opportunity for Progressives

It is widely understood that Vancouver is in a crisis of unaffordability. It is less well understood what we must do about it.

COPE is calling on all leaders and members of electoral organizations in Vancouver to join with us to take action. We will seek to speak with One City, Vancouver Greens, the Jean Swanson Team, and any others who will support our plan.

While Vision did some beneficial or well intentioned things such as bike lanes and trans-friendly washrooms, their most important legacy unfortunately has been to give developers the power to decide the kind of city we must live in. As a result, since developers’ primary motivation is profit, most Vancouver residents— let alone those with low incomes— no longer have access to secure, affordable housing. For renters especially, the constant threats of renoviction, demoviction and cumulative rent increases are driving away an entire generation.

COPE has a plan to address this situation and is seeking cooperation with others willing to support our proposals.

COPE’s established housing policies include support for the following actions:

  • Declaring a State of Emergency due to Vancouver’s affordable housing crisis
  • Ending the influence of real estate corporations at City Hall
  • Ending reno- and demovictions— unit upgrades & building replacements that cause tenant evictions
  • Creating a Civic Housing Authority to develop non-market affordable rental housing
  • Effective rent control managed by an elected RCB, including:
    • Rent attached to unit, not tenancy
    • A Registry of licensed Landowners and Landlords
  • Deploy the city’s Property Endowment Fund to finance housing solutions
  • Seek implementation of a Luxury Housing Tax
  • Declare a pause in condo approvals to slow DTES and Chinatown gentrification
  • Enforce the existing Standards of Maintenance Bylaw
  • Encourage creation of tenant unions

We will review and extend these policies in the coming months and encourage all like-minded Vancouverites to join us.

For more details on these policies see https://cope.bc.ca/where-we-stand/platform/housing/ 

New Policies to be considered at our Policy Conference in April include:

  • Prioritize Building Housing Co-ops on public land
  • Build housing that rents at shelter/disability/pension rates, or below 30% of tenant income

COPE was the first to propose an empty property tax, and we endorsed Jean Swanson in the 2017 by-election where she proposed both a “Rent Freeze” and a “Mansion Tax.”.

Who will join COPE in pledging to implement these vital measures after the October 20th election?  Together, we hope to work not for developers, but with all Vancouverites to create a city that is affordable, liveable, environmentally healthy, and where everyone matters.

In Solidarity,

Rider Cooey and Connie Hubbs, Co-Chairs of COPE

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COPE CO-CHAIR CONTACTS: Rider Cooey, 604 872 1382 Connie Hubbs, 604 910 6719

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