Mayoral candidate Sylvia Bishop is promising to hold a summit meeting within 100 days of being elected to look at ways to increase affordable and rental housing in Delta.
In a press release issued Sept. 4, Bishop said that if she and her Team Delta slate are elected mayor and council on Oct. 20, the City of Delta will host a summit “to explore and identify policies that will improve the municipality’s stock of affordable housing and rental accommodation.”
The summit, which will include academics, economists, community and housing activists, developers, leading Delta residents and others, will be held before Jan. 26, 2019, with new municipal policies derived from the meeting taking effect in early spring.
“I believe that the issues of housing affordability and access to rental accommodation are increasingly important to a growing number of Delta residents,” Bishop said in the press release. “That is why I have pledged to host a summit meeting within the first 100 days of the Oct. 20 local government elections. We don’t have a moment to lose in coming to grips with what many people have described as a ‘housing crisis.’”
Bishop also announced that she and Team Delta will later this week be releasing a paper titled A Made in Delta Solution: A Research Paper on Affordable Housing and Rental Accommodation, which will “offer an overview of the challenges currently facing British Columbians, and especially those who reside in the Lower Mainland and Delta.”
The research paper will highlight population growth in B.C. (from 1 million in 1946 to a projected 5 million by 2021) and in Delta (from 102,000 in 2001 to an estimated 115,400 by 2041), rising real estate prices in Greater Vancouver (from an average house price of $570,795 in 2007 to $1,031,546 in 2017), the increasing cost of apartment rentals in Metro Vancouver (from $830 per month in 2007 to $1,200 per month in 2017, with rent increasing nearly twice as fast as wages across the region) and declining rental vacancy rates (from a 2.6 per cent provincial average in 2001 to 1.3 per cent in 2016, with just 0.7 per cent rental vacancy in Metro Vancouver that same year).
“Team Delta and I are dedicated to improving the lives of all Delta residents,” Bishop said. “To that end we have developed a number of action plans that address a variety of pressing issues. I therefore am very pleased today to introduce our ‘Action Plan on Affordable Housing and Rents,’ which we intend to put into action once voters go to the polls … and give us a mandate for the next four years.”
The civic elections take place on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, with advanced voting opportunities on Oct. 6, 10 and 11.