(This article by Elizabeth Murphy as contributing writer appeared in the Vancouver Courier online on May 18, 2012.)
On Tuesday May 15, 2012 Vision Vancouver City Councillors approved a new rental policy report, Secured Market Rental Housing Policy. Based on concerns about the report and the process, it was substantially opposed by Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr and NPA Councillors George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball.
The recently cancelled Short Term Incentives for Rentals Program (STIR) has now been replaced by the Secured Market Rental Housing Policy, or the Son of STIR. Like its predecessor, the new program is a density-bonus-for-rentals policy. But this new version is potentially more problematic.
Unfortunately, instead of discussing and addressing the true merits of the report, Vision Vancouver councillors hid behind rhetoric. They framed themselves as the defenders of rental housing, saying that opposition to their policy report came from bad people who oppose rental housing. Vision claimed that the need for new rentals is so urgent there is no time for any delay to allow for further amendment or consultation.