WEST END / Critics wonder what will take its place
Shauna Lewis, December 9, 2011
Vancouver’s Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing [STIR] program will end this month and while those who opposed the plan are relieved, they fear similar programs will take its place.
“It expires on Dec 15,” confirms gay city councillor Tim Stevenson. “The program as we know it has to finish on that date and we don’t have any legislation going on at the moment through council to extend that.”
“That said, our huge concern is getting rental housing,” he says. “We are in great need for housing.”
Launched in June 2010, STIR offered developers incentives such as waived fees, expedited permit processes and exemptions from existing zoning bylaws to build rental housing — as opposed to condos — to address the city’s shortage of available units to rent.
Stevenson says the mayor and council plan to examine new programs and incentives to bring more rental housing to the city.
“The mayor has announced plans for building a Task Force for affordable housing and he plans to initiate that immediately,” Stevenson says.