A forum was held in Vancouver that gave the opportunity to the natives to give input into Vancouver’s reasonable housing strategy. This program was hosted by the city of Vancouver and it gave natives of all backgrounds to raise their concerns, ideas and recommendations. The city of Vancouver promised to use the feedback from the residents to set it to their future strategies as it addresses a booming housing estate market and a growing gap between home prices and earnings.
Major Gregor said the main aim of this is to have more homes, create more opportunities for those less fortunate and more equality among residents. The forum was all about capturing the best ideas and criticism and also taking feedback. They will combine both the good and the bad just to show that they are doing everything possible to build more homes.
He went on to say that the city of Vancouver needs assistance from both the provincial and federal government to assist in their finances. He made mentioned in his opening remarks the 20 sites of city land that are currently available for provincial and federal funding and call on the government to assist in ensuring that the projects commence. Robert added that the 20 sites needs to be moved. Homes needs to be build which are going to be affordable but this can only happen if provincial and the federal government helps by putting in some money to get the project started.
Major Gregor Robertson spoke to reports and said he has sent a letter to the federal finance minister Bill Morneau, seeking to see him in person in order to discuss issues and find solutions to the housing crisis including curbing speculation and all the things driving the market crazy. He added that he will send a related request to the finance minister once the position has been filled. The forum attracted all from renters to home owners and people with both high and low incomes. The Vancouver- Langara as well as the city councilors were all present.
Coordinator for the Carnegie community action project Lenee Son also said that, a very important group has been left out of the forum which is the 2100 strong homeless population that are presently in the downtown eastside and Chinatown. Most often he added when forums are held, homelessness is always left out. Those that are the most disregarded in the community are not received and we are pushing for the government to hear the homeless.
He added that the way single room occupancy housing has fallen into poor shape, following the recent Balmoral hotel evacuate of residents as an example. She said the houses that remains for rent in that area are simply too expensive and not affordable for most of the people she represents. She believes it is not okay for people to be living like this.
The city is also hosting an online questionnaire for those who have opinions on housing in Vancouver, but were unable to make the forum. This is open to all.