The report of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Task Force is now online. http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/civicagencies/housing/mtfha_jun2012interimreport.pdf
The report will be presented to a Regular Council meeting on June 27, 2012.
The Vancouver Sun covers the story in an article dated today. Some highlights:
Robertson and Ilich outlined a number of key things they believe the city can do to propel the construction of affordable housing. They include:
* Creating a city-owned “housing authority” to buy, develop land for social and affordable housing that it would administer;
* Setting up and putting into a “community land trust” city land that would be administered by a non-profit corporation;
* Forming a “community-based financing agency” funded by unions, pension funds, religious organizations, foundations and others that would offer low-interest construction financing
And it says changing how the city uses development cost levies and community amenity contributions it demands from developers is also under consideration.
Currently the city can’t use DCLs — meant for sewer, road and water services — for building recreational and cultural facilities.
“A more standardized approach would provide certainty to the development community regarding project costs, reducing risks and possibly resulting in lower financing costs, thus enhancing affordability,” the report says.
MORE MEDIA COVERAGE
Mayor Robertson’s housing plan similar to one started by former mayor Gordon Campbell
Podmore said the city’s new program unveiled today at City Hall appears to be mirrored after the VLC deal. But he said the devil will be in the details. He suggested the city should make sure it does not put its land at risk of being taken by banks in the event a partner fails.
Other ideas to streamline and create more certainty and clarity in the regulatory process and improve public engagement processes: Develop a NEXUS Pass-type system for applicants who have a proven track record of successful projects. This could include allowing such applicants to hire third-party consultants with the authority to sign off plans in the early stages of an application.