(Initial report, to be updated) This is an initial report of the public speakers and Council discussion and decision today on the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability. Facts will be checked and corrected later if necessary. Bottom line is that Council split the motion into 17 parts and voted on each one separately. Vision Vancouver council members voted in favour as a block on all points in Robertson’s motion, some votes were cast in opposition (this varied by section). Vision voted down an amendment to consult with neighbourhoods introduced by Councillor Adriane Carr (containing Councillor Ball’s friendly amendment and also supported by Clr Affleck).
Exact wording will become evident in a day or two when the meeting minutes are made public. CityHallWatch will provide analysis and commentary about what the public might want to do as follow-up in coming days.
About 26 persons had signed up to speak at the committee meeting (Planning, Transportation, Environment), which started at 9:30 am. The entire morning was taken up with other items. Council resumed at 1:30 pm, by which time some speakers had left, unable to stay around. The meeting finally ended at about 5:50 pm. The vast majority of speakers had negative comments about the process, composition, and certain recommendations of the Task Force, and wanted council to only accept the Task Force report for information.
Vancouver citizens should take this entire topic as a test of how our City and all its players are functioning as a society. Watch how your mainstream media report — is it accurate and balanced?
Some media coverage:
- The Province: Vancouver residents tell council city’s affordable housing plan is ‘misguided’ (Oct 3, 7:54 PM). This report directly references some of the concerns raised by several of the speakers.
- MetroNews.ca: Affordable housing task force recommendations pass with amendments Note: “In response to speakers’ demand for more community consultation, the mayor asked staff to present the interim affordable housing rezoning policy to all of the city’s citizen advisory committees and neighbourhood advisory groups for feedback. They were also asked to reconvene the city’s renters’ roundtable for feedback, and report back by June 1 with a policy that incorporates the feedback.”
- http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Council+votes+move+ahead+Vancouver+affordable+housing+plan/7340300/story.html (filed 8:30 pm, Oct 3, after the meeting) This article by Brian Morton says “…The strategy would also see residential towers up to six storeys, condominiums and other higher-density housing to be built along main arterial routes such as Cambie, Dunbar and Hastings streets. …According to a release, council voted Wednesday to accelerate work on an affordable housing authority, as well as a review of regulations to enhance building upgrades and protections for renters; and to proceed with a new affordable housing interim re-zoning bylaw, enabling up to 20 projects such as new row homes, townhouses, and duplexes to be considered near major transit arterials, provided they are 100-per-cent rental or sold at 20-per-cent below market.”
Comment by CityHallWatch: Upon an initial read, this article is a fail. It does not faithfully convey the tone or content of public opinions articulated at the meeting. More effort needed, Vancouver Sun. ” The article refers to a media release, but we cannot find any statement available for the public at this time.
- Metronews.ca: Rezoning map identifies areas that could see new 6-storey developments – Filed live as the meeting was ongoing, includes city staff map of arterials and neighbourhood centres
- This tweet is apparently circulating on Twitter from Mike Magee (@MikeMagee), Chief of Staff at City Hall 2012-10-03 20:06 RT @VanMayorsOffice: . @MayorGregor will host a Housing Affordability Twitter Town Hall at 2pm tomorrow, Thurs. Oct 4. Tweet questions to #vanhousing
CityHallWatch comment: This appears to be damage control by one of the masterminds behind Vision Vancouver. Will it be a canned presentation? There are many questions of substance to be answered.
- More articles will be added as found.