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Housing Crisis in West Vancouver

Blog by Patrick O'Donnell PREC* | November 12th, 2019

Good Afternoon everyone, 

Just wanted to give you a quick update on what is moving and shaking in West Vancouver.  Of course, It’s no secret that our community is facing unprecedented housing challenges, and we have some of the highest rents and housing prices in Canada. Last year, during the review of the Official Community Plan (OCP), and again during the election, the community very clearly told the powers that be, that the availability and affordability of housing is a priority that needs to be addressed.   We need many different kinds of residents to form a complete community. We need people to take care of our elderly and teach our children; we need the people who work in our businesses and we need police and firefighters to keep us safe. These are the people who we rely on every day, but, unlike most other communities, they cannot afford to live here. Increasingly, we are losing them to job opportunities closer to their homes. In the meantime, they are commuting long distances to work, which is contributing to traffic congestion.   Many have raised their families here in West Vancouver, but the children and grandchildren of those same people will not be able to live in West Vancouver unless something changes. Without more affordable housing choices, they are leaving our community and moving to other cities or provinces.  At this time, West Vancouver’s greatest export are their young people. As a result, our population is declining while the rest of Metro Vancouver’s population has grown by more than six per cent.

2195 Gordon Avenue 

 There is an opportunity to start to change this by using the municipally-owned site at 2195 Gordon Avenue. The District purchased this property in 2014 for $16 million. Council worked with staff and external experts to develop options that would create new housing, increase the supply of rental units and provide more affordable housing. The District believes they can accomplish this and still generate approximately $26 million in revenue, with no ongoing costs to the District. 

This project also provides an opportunity to address another urgent and growing need in the community by including a purpose-built Adult Day Centre. Operated by Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, it will provide daily respite for caregivers, bringing back this vital service to this location.   Consultation earlier this year indicated general support from the community, and Council unanimously voted to move ahead with a rezoning application and guidelines. 

Please participate

The District is hosting a Pre-Application Public Information Meeting later this month. Please participate and provide Council with your feedback:

    • Thursday, November 21, 2019, 5–7 p.m.
    • West Vancouver Memorial Library, Welsh Hall, 1950 Marine Drive

If you’d like to learn more about this proposal, visit westvancouverite.ca/gordon or give me a call directly and we can chat about options that may impact you moving forward. 

Building a community takes a team… I am happy to be part of this team