City Council candidate Pete Fry takes aim at housing affordability

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Green Party of Vancouver candidate for city council Pete Fry is taking aim at affordable housing in Vancouver if he’s elected come October 14th.

Speaking earlier this afternoon, Fry highlighted the rental crisis in this city.

“Over a half of Vancouverites rent, and over a quarter of them spend more than fifty percent of their income on rent. We know from recent data that the average rent for a one bedroom is now approaching 2100 dollars a month. We feel strongly that in addition to that with changes in interest rates, and almost 28 percent of all rentals and condominiums, there’s a growing potential for a real serious crisis, even worse than we have now.”

Fry’s solution is to call on the federal government to reinstate tax initiatives for purpose-built rental apartment construction.

He also wants to expand the original program to cover investments in maintenance and renovation of rental buildings.

Fry says the federal government will have to step up in order to make a difference.

“We are calling on the federal government to immediately reinstate tax incentives that were once commonplace in the 1970’s for building purpose-built rental. Up until the 1970’s, there were numerous federal tax incentives for capital gains and real incentives to build purpose-built rental housing. We see this as an opportunity to alleviate some of the pressure here in Vancouver, and that is rapidly spreading across the nation.”

He adds the City of Vancouver has long lag times in getting development and building permits and has to work faster to allow construction and renovation permits to be fast-tracked.