Vancouver is a city of renters: more than half of us rent (52% of Vancouver households, according to the 2006 Census), and our city has 46% of the rental stock for the Lower Mainland. We all know the financial pressures of renting are going up: 4 out of 10 renters are paying more than 30% of their income towards rent. Our rental stock is aging, with a great deal of low and middle income housing beyond repair. By the end of this decade, Vancouver will have 15,000 rental units that need renewal, and we’ll need another 15,000 units just to keep up with our growing population. This is an enormous challenge for our city.
The federal government can make a huge difference for Vancouver’s renters. In the past, the federal government offered a tax credit for building rental housing. It made a big difference: on average, 1,675 rental units were built a year in the four decades before the Conservatives cut the credit in the late 1980s. After that cut, an average of only 610 units were built per year.
Vision Vancouver councilors have worked hard to bring these numbers up with targeted city support, and since 2009 we’ve brought it up to 1,150 a year. But doing this with city resources is not a long term solution. Federal support can make an enormous difference to keep Vancouver affordable for all of us. We need the return of the rental housing tax credit.
Here is a chance for you to make a difference for affordable housing in Vancouver. Write the leaders of the federal parties and tell them you want the return of the rental housing tax credit.
To reach the federal Conservatives, write [email protected]
To reach the federal Green party, write [email protected]
To reach the federal Liberal Party, write [email protected]
To reach the federal NDP, write [email protected]
Please CC a copy to [email protected] so we can read your messages.
Over the next few weeks, federal candidates are going to be out in the community across Vancouver. They are going to be in all-candidates meetings. They are going to knock on your door. Ask your federal candidates where they stand on affordable housing. For a Vancouver that is affordable for everyone, we need our federal parties to stand up and do their part. There is no better time than an election for you to be heard on this issue.