Targeting Housing Affordability

Local governments that want to take action on the issue of housing affordability should begin with setting targets to measure performance, delegates heard in a Tuesday Forum.

Celine Mauboules, City of Vancouver Senior Planner for Housing and Affordability, shared lessons learned from the development and implementation of the City’s strategy. Ms. Mauboules told delegates that the rental rate change regulation introduced by the City has meant that very few rental units have been lost since 2007. Mauboules also described other tools that have been implemented, including private sector incentives and land use tools such as inclusionary zoning that have contributed to the delivery of new units.

While a robust market rental sector is key for households with moderate incomes, a broader range of options are needed to support the homeless and hard to house. Amelia Ridgeway, Acting Associate Director for RainCity Housing, described The Budzey, a 10 story building on the Downtown Eastside that contains 147 units for women and women led families. The Budzey provides a full range of services to help support families, including programs to build community; childcare; medical and mental health services; substance abuse support, and a Parent Resource Centre.  The annual operating cost for The Budzey is $90 million.

The Budzey was built in partnership with Streettohome, a private sector contributor that has contributed to 20 supportive housing buildings in Vancouver to date, helping to provide 1086 homes since 2008.

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