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Dramatic revisions to city’s housing plan sparks controversy in Vancouver

By FRANCES BULA for The Globe and Mail

Vancouver is set to adopt a dramatically revised housing plan that will change the make-up of single-family neighbourhoods, promote dense new clusters of residences in designated areas and create a $2-billion affordable-housing fund.

The new initiative will allow duplexes automatically as a choice in most of the city’s single-family neighbourhoods, as well as aiming to ensure that two-thirds of a hoped-for 72,000 homes built in the next 10 years are rentals.

All of that will require dedicating about $2.5-billion of city land to housing and grappling with residents unhappy about such significant change, city housing officials admit.

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“Change is always hard and we anticipate we’ll have a significant program of engagement,” said Dan Garrison, the city’s assistant director of housing policy. “We have to acknowledge concerns. But one of our messages has to be about our ability to sustain the city.”

The goal of the new housing plan, which will be voted on by Vancouver city council next week, is ultimately to see half of the 72,000 homes built in the next decade be affordable to households with incomes of $80,000 or below.


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