We need more rental housing in Vancouver

We need more rental housing in Vancouver

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Russil Wvong started this petition to City of Vancouver Mayor and Council

The Streamlining Rental policy currently being considered by mayor and council is a big step in the right direction. It'll help alleviate the worsening problems caused by lack of housing in Vancouver, especially rental housing:

  • High housing costs make everyone poorer. Everyone's stretched to the limit. 
  • Renters face low vacancies, high rents, and insecure housing. They're terrified of losing their housing.
  • We're adding jobs faster than we're adding housing. As more people arrive to fill job openings, the problem gets worse.
  • Lower-income renters get pushed out, or worse, into poverty and homelessness.
  • Even homeowners feel pushed out - they don't benefit from high prices unless they sell and move elsewhere.

Vancouver needs more rental apartments, not just condos. Condos are better than nothing, but they don't provide security for renters compared to an all-rental building, since the condo owner can always sell or reclaim it for personal use.

The city is proposing to legalize six-storey rental apartment buildings on major streets, in C-2 zones (shown in pink on the map). It's already legal to build four-storey condo buildings without a rezoning. This levels the playing field, making it easier and faster to build rentals. City staff estimate that it'll result in 2,700 more rental apartments built over the next 10 years.

These changes will benefit non-market rental housing projects as well as market rentals.

The city is also proposing to introduce new simplified rental zones on arterial and off-arterial streets. These would still require a rezoning and public hearing.

There's a lot of opposition. Some people feel that high housing costs are just the price of living in Vancouver, and that they're actually a good thing because they keep newcomers out. But this is a double-edged sword: as housing costs keep going up, eventually only rich people will be able to afford living in Vancouver.

70% of people in Vancouver support more housing. Only 20% are opposed to six-storey buildings in their neighbourhoods.

More housing in Vancouver - especially rental housing - will make us better off.

If you sign this petition, please also submit a short comment directly to council (subject: "Streamlining Rental") saying that you support the policy. That'd be really helpful in persuading council to approve it. It doesn't take long: there's hundreds of comments already, so council will mostly be looking at the count of how many support the policy and how many are opposed.

For more information about the policy and the latest updates on the public hearings, see morehousing.ca. The next public hearing date is Tuesday November 9, and it's likely that council won't vote until Tuesday November 16.

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