District of North Vancouver Couns. Lisa Muri, Betty Forbes, Megan Curren and Jim Hanson and Mayor Mike Little all believe we need affordable housing. Throughout the campaign they told us, repeatedly, that North Van has too much market housing and not enough affordable housing.
But when it came to their very first vote on an all-below-market housing project in Delbrook, Monday, they all said, “No.”
The reasons given for preventing 80 working people, families and seniors from having safe, secure, affordable homes to live in, was that it was too tall, too dense, that the unit mix was wrong, that it had too little parking and wasn’t designed to the highest environmental standards. Mostly though, it was to mollify the very comfortably housed neighbours in Delbrook.
It was a case of the haves versus the have-nots and this council came down firmly on the side of the haves even though that decision meant squandering a non-profit’s resources, staff time and community goodwill.
Provincial and federal dollars for affordable housing projects are now beginning to flow. This vote undoubtedly sends the message to senior levels of government and non-profit housing partners that the district is not at all serious about doing its part to help resolve the crisis.
Those who torpedoed this desperately needed project insist we can do better. Well, it’s now on them to come up with a viable Plan B, and do it quickly, or they will have forfeited their right to any further lip service about the housing crisis.
Little will wear the chain of office for the next four years. We hope he won’t have to wear this decision for as long. The people in dire need of housing today can’t wait.
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