We all know that Vancouver is expense, in fact it’s the most expensive city in North America. It’s a city that for the most part caters to the very rich and the very poor. It’s been a while since they’ve thought about the rest of the citizens of this city, especially when it come to housing. So the City of Vancouver is launching re:THINK Housing, a global ideas competition to create affordable housing solutions for Vancouver.
Affordable housing is the biggest issue facing the city today. A city alone cannot thrive with just rich people and social housing and right now market housing is far too steep for the majority of Vancouverites. Part of that is due to poor wages in the city, some of it due to speculation both foreign and domestic and some of it has to do with limited land supply. Demand for Vancouver far outstrips supply and the city needs to act now before the youth drain continues.
“Affordable housing is one of the toughest challenges we face in Vancouver, and we need fresh, bold thinking in terms of how we build affordable options for the people who live and work in our city,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This competition is an important step to getting dynamic, maybe even controversial ideas into the public realm and hearing directly from our citizens.”
Applicants may submit proposals for public or private land in two categories: Building Bold, and Vibrant Neighbourhoods. Each proposal must explain how affordability will be maintained over the long term without government subsidy. It should also include ideas on how a project would protect and enhance green space; integrate with neighbourhoods; and be financially viable.
Winners will be selected by a five-member jury from the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housingand the public will be able to vote online for their favorites in early July.
Winning submissions will be announced in late July, and a total of $8,000 in prize money will be distributed to the winners as selected by the jury. All winners will see their ideas published in Spacing Magazine.
As part of the new community planning processes and in support of re:THINK Housing, storytelling nights based on the theme “There’s No Place Like Home” are being held in three Vancouver neighbourhoods. The events, which are free and open to all Vancouverites, aim to inspire, entertain and motivate thinking about housing and community. The first one was held Tuesday night in Marpole, and two more are upcoming:
Photos courtesy of Locked In at SSP.com