An Affordable Home in Vancouver?

On Monday, May 12, 2014, I was invited to be part of a panel at a community forum on affordable housing. Vancouver city councillor, Geoff Meggs reached out to me to inform the discussion on how co-operative housing models can help address affordability in the city.  

The event, entitled An Affordable Home: How can we make it happen in Vancouver, was a series of policy forums hosted by Vision Vancouver—a municipal party that now holds the mayorship and a majority of city council. Otehr panelists inlcluded Councillor Meggs, Lyndsay Poaps, a  public engagement advocate (and former park board commissioner), and Jim O’Dea, a co-founder of Terra Housing, a social purpose real estate firm.  

Photograph by Ashley Smith (‏@Ashley_Realtor) via Twitter

Photograph by Ashley Smith (‏@Ashley_Realtor) via Twitter

The event received some local media attention.  Here is an excerpt from the Vancouver Sun:

Co-op housing was one model touted by Yuri Artibise as worthy of renewed focus in the coming years.

 

“What we all want is a place to call home,” said Artibise, the vice president of the Cooperative Housing Federation of B.C.

 

He said co-ops provide security of tenure, a sense of community, affordability for tenants, and don’t require a down payment, but they are losing the support of the federal government and the province is “not stepping up to the plate.”

The Vancouver Courier (and Business in Vancouverpicked up on a similar point I made:

A common complaint shared by Meggs, Poaps and panelists Jim O’Dea, a housing consultant, and Yuri Artibise, the vice-president of the Co-operative Housing Federation of B.C., is the provincial and federal governments are not building enough affordable housing.

[…]

Artibise, who lives in a co-op at the Olympic Village, is worried about a bleak future for tenants of co-ops with more than 3,000 B.C. households facing the loss of rental assistance by 2020 when the Federal Co-operative Housing Program shuts down.

“My biggest fear is that the province and the feds won’t step up and we will lose the subsidies — that’s going to be our fight for the next five or six years,” he said.

Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.

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