Vancouver’s affordable housing plan gets approval from council

As Vancouver’s housing affordability plan went to city council on Wednesday, there were plenty of opposing voices. However, the council ultimately decided to go forward with the new housing initiative.

The housing affordability strategy is the result of the findings of a task force led by Olga Ilich and Mayor Gregor Robertson. The goal of the strategy is to help low to middle income earners afford to stay in the city of Vancouver instead of being forced into the suburbs.

One of the strategy’s more controversial recommendations is a call for a rezoning policy that would add up to 20 higher-density housing options built within 100 metres of some of the city’s major streets.

While the rezoning policy wouldn’t impact most of Vancouver neighbourhoods, residents of the three “pilot” neighbourhoods – Grandview-Woodland, Marpole, and the West End – voiced concerns about overcrowding and loss of green space.

Robertson seems aware of the challenges and noted that, “If it’s going to happen, there needs to be community buy-in.”

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