Vancouver real estate: city councillor Melissa De Genova seeks options for affordable home ownership

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      As of January 2021, the price of a typical detached home on the east side of Vancouver has increased to $1,546,700.

      Meanwhile, the benchmark price of a townhouse on the same part of the city stood at $893,600.

      A condo typically costs $595,800.

      Let’s not even talk about the west side of Vancouver, where homes are more expensive.

      So what about people who want to own a home in the city, but cannot afford market prices?

      Since her election to city council in 2014, Melissa De Genova has been asking the same question.

      De Genova has repeatedly said that the city needs to help its residents on the path toward affordable home ownership.

      In 2015, council approved De Genova’s motion about exploring options around affordable ownership solutions.

      City staff subsequently came up with recommendations, which council also endorsed in 2016.

      However, getting it done is far from easy.

      As De Genova recalls in a new motion, city staff eventually informed council that a “change of the Vancouver Charter is necessary before the City of Vancouver can move forward” with a program on affordable housing ownership.

      With her motion, the now two-term councillor is making another crack at this challenging issue.

      De Genova is suggesting that staff work with B.C. Housing and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on what can be done.

      She also wants council to “affirm that any opportunities that may come available through partnerships in this resolution, not minimize the commitment or impact the ability of the City of Vancouver to move forward with the creation of much needed shelter-rate and non-market housing”.

      Additionally, De Genova seeks council’s approval to “direct staff to identify opportunities, including areas where zoning is appropriate for the Affordable Home Ownership”.

      Council will hear speakers from the public regarding this motion Wednesday (February 10).