The new Vancouver Plan, which has a stated goal of ameliorating city life through 2050, intends to take an equity-based approach to rectifying disparities in the city’s housing market.
That includes prioritizing affordable housing with transit accessibility and near green spaces, schools, childcare, and shielding from busy avenues. Buildings will also have support services and there will be strong expressions of community. In its mention of developing missing middle housing, the Vancouver Plan will also create more diverse housing types, including social housing and new rentals, as well as more inclusivity for low- and moderate-income families.
Accessing amenities like shopping and transit is paramount to this project, as is renewing and preserving existing affordable housing. At the root of the problem is what the Vancouver Plan concedes is decoupling of incomes from housing prices, adversely impacting people on the lower end of the income ladder. The Vancouver Plan also acknowledges there were more than 2,000 people living without shelter in 2020, while others lived in inadequate or unsafe conditions. However, the combination of population growth, meagre income growth and decades-long insufficient new housing creation, housing is among the most pressing needs in the Vancouver region.
New Housing Strategy to Come
The Housing Vancouver Strategy will also be updated every five years to meet provincially mandated Housing Needs Assessment requisitions; identify new housing targets to meet present and future needs; explore housing strategies based on demographical needs; use equity-based geographical housing metrics to measure progress; identify and prioritize short- and long-term strategic housing; and identify ways to ensure implementation and monitoring and evaluation strategies. The Vancouver Plan will also augment the quality and number of multi-family dwellings in the region so that they aren’t concentrated in certain areas.
Homelessness is rampant in Vancouver and strategies are being developed to eradicate it. Indigenous people are overrepresented among homeless people and Indigenous-led initiatives to develop new housing are underway.