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Housing is ‘absolute priority,’ Vancouver mayor-elect says

By FRANCES BULA for The Globe and Mail

Among Kennedy Stewart’s plans on the file are immediately hiring a renters’ advocate and increasing supply by 85,000 new units, including 25,000 non-profit rentals, over 10 years. Following his victory, Kennedy told reporters he wants the conversation to move beyond housing by the end of his four-year term. He said he’s confident he can do so by working with all members of council.

Vancouver’s mayor-elect will lead a divided city council whose most pressing job, he says, will be to create affordable housing in Canada’s most expensive city.

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Mr. Stewart, who ran as an independent, said voters have clearly said they don’t want to continue on the path the city was on with Mr. Robertson. The mayor faced persistent complaints that his government was too cozy with developers and that a push to add density to the city only benefited the very wealthy. Instead, Mr. Stewart has laid out a plan that would use city-owned land to create thousands of units of new housing.

“Housing has to be the absolute priority,” Mr. Stewart said on Sunday. “The electorate said they want change.”

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