Victoria Times Colonist
FRED HAYNES, LISA HELPS, COLIN BASRAN, MALCOLM BRODIE, KEN CHRISTIAN, JONATHAN COTE, LYN HALL, MIKE HURLEY, LEONARD KROG, DOUG McCALLUM, RICHARD STEWART and KENNEDY STEWART
A commentary by the mayors of Saanich, Victoria, Kelowna, Richmond, Kamloops, New Westminster, Prince George, Burnaby, Nanaimo, Surrey, Coquitlam and Vancouver.
People who work in our cities can’t afford to live in them. Young people cannot buy homes. Families are living in spaces too small for their needs because that’s what they can afford. Students are living in vans. Too many people are experiencing homelessness.
All this is not new, it’s been years in the making. And now it’s a crisis. …
Housing Minister Eby made headlines recently when he cited the need to see local governments approve more housing more quickly. We’re ready for the challenge.
In 2019 the provincial government adopted legislation requiring local governments to do housing needs assessments every five years. The province should put forward legislation requiring that we build the number of homes in our communities that we need. They should provide the additional authority, resources, and tools required, and — along with investments from the federal Housing Accelerator Fund — leave it to us as to how to get there.
This “great national effort” of a post-pandemic housing boom will take commitments from all of us. The federal budget signals that cities are key partners in addressing this challenge. The B.C. Urban Mayors’ Caucus is up for it, for our residents and businesses now, and for future generations.