Mayoral candidate Wai Young's Coalition Vancouver says the affordable housing crisis is not a supply problem

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      A former Conservative MP seeking the mayoralty of Vancouver has unveiled her housing plan.  

      And Wai Young's Coalition Vancouver website claims that the city's housing crisis is not linked to a lack of supply.

      To support this contention, the party declares that for every new household in the past 15 years, an additional 1.19 net units of housing have been added.

      "The problem is the type of housing being built," Coalition Vancouver states. "Vancouver has built far too many ‘luxurious’ condos and far too few affordable housing units. No millionaire has a problem finding a home—this is about affordability."

      Earlier this month, Young said something similar in a short interview with the Straight following a mayoral candidates meeting.

      "There are 40,000 units that were started in 2017 and are coming on in 2018," Young said. "There are no millionaires running around Vancouver that can't afford to buy a house."

      In fact, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported in April that there were only 26,204 housing starts in the region in 2017.

      In the City of Vancouver and Electoral Area A, there were only 6,077 housing starts in 2017, according to CMHC.

      A City of Vancouver staff report stated that there will be 65,000 new residents coming to Metro Vancouver annually until 2021.

      Citing the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy 2017, the city report noted that this is double the annual growth rate over the five years from 2011 to 2016.

      However, a Metro Vancouver staff person has informed the Straight that the City of Vancouver report was "incorrect". The regional growth strategy predicts a population increase of just 30,000 per year.

      B.C. Stats reported that the entire provincial population rose by 65,981 in 2017.

      Meanwhile, Coalition Vancouver supports zoning one additional rental unit per stand-alone home and laneway house "in neighbourhoods that support it".

      Young's party also promises to create committees in each neighbourhood "to determine what pre-1940 houses should be preserved".

      This raises the possibility that if Coalition Vancouver wins a majority, it could eventually revoke the council's decision to turn First Shaughnessy into a heritage conservation district. Under this designation, virtually all pre-1940 homes must be preserved.

      Coalition Vancouver says its focus will be on purpose-built rental housing. It states that this can be achieved through "a combination of zoning and tax policy" in and around major transportation hubs.

      In addition, Young's party intends to promote "smaller, non-luxury affordable housing units for Vancouverites".

      "I know that there are other candidates running around the city saying that they're going to fix housing, or whatever, and it's a one Band-Aid solution," Young said. "Vancouver has more issues than just housing."

      One of her party's council candidates, Ken Charko, told the Straight that he supports a "four-pillars" approach to housing.

      "Number one, you have to be able to go to UBC and get them to be able to create the number of houses that they need for their students," he said.

      The Point Grey campus has housing for 12,000 students in 13 residence areas. There were 55,887 UBC students in Vancouver last year, according to its website.

      "Stop offloading those people that are coming up to UBC," Charko said. "What's happening is those people are coming here to take up spaces...which is raising the price. UBC has the land and has the capacity to house at least 50 percent of their people."

      Charko added that the second pillar is to talk to the province about its land-use planning, with the third pillar involving other cities in the region, including Burnaby and New Westminster.

      The fourth pillar, in his view, is focusing on solutions in Vancouver.

      "There is not a one-take solution, but UBC is part of it, for sure," he said.