Vancouver moves housing motion forward to fast-track non-market builds

Councillors in Vancouver have unanimously passed a motion that is looking to fast-track some housing builds in the city.

Council voted Wednesday to move forward Christine Boyle’s motion, which will see non-market housing developments of up to 12 stories not require rezoning or full public hearings.

An amendment was made to the motion, potentially adding a delay, she admits.

“The next step will be a report back to council from staff, sometime in 2023, and it will be up to us as a council to continue to move this forward at the speed that’s needed, which is quickly,” she told CityNews.

“I was hoping we would move more quickly. Instead, the next step will be a report back with recommendations from staff, including, hopefully, a recommendation that we move it to public hearing.”

Related articles: 

However, Boyle notes the intent of the motion is still the same. She has been pushing for months for the city to bring in change to address the housing crisis.

“We need to make it a lot faster and easier to build the type of housing we most need, which we know is non-market, co-op, non-profit, and supportive housing in every neighbourhood of Vancouver. I was very glad to see unanimous support,” she told CityNews Wednesday following the vote.

“People are being priced out of the city, families are being priced out, seniors are being priced out. We need to act a lot more quickly to build housing that people can afford.”

Once everything is finalized, Boyle says staff will be given the green light to go over developers’ proposals and make the call — foregoing the current process which has been described as lengthy, costly, and divisive.

Meanwhile, some people have expressed concern with the idea of getting rid of full public hearings for such developments, saying the current process gives locals the chance to weigh in on projects — for better or worse — and that neighbourhoods need to have a voice in what happens.

However, critics have said the hearings give some people the chance to make a lot of noise and level baseless accusations.

As for next steps, Boyle says staff have now been asked to report back with a detailed look at how the new process will play out.

“This is an important step for Vancouver and I hope it gives some level of hope and comfort to the many, many people across our city who are struggling in unstable housing, who are struggling to decide if they can afford to stay in Vancouver,” she said.

Previously, Boyle noted that the process in her motion “would still allow for neighbourhood engagement and feedback and some shifts to a project.” However, she told CityNews in November, “neighbourhoods don’t have a right to a veto of affordable housing.”

“So that more people of all incomes can call Vancouver home in every neighbourhood across the city,” Boyle said Wednesday.

-With files from Kier Junos

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today