#LetsFixHousing Action Plan - Yes Vancouver - Say YES to our city’s future

#LetsFixHousing Action Plan

We are very proud to be able to share our comprehensive #LetsFixHousing Action Plan, the cornerstone of our campaign.Our plan to fix Vancouver's other challenges will be released in the coming days.

This current housing affordability crisis is one of the biggest crises in our city's history, and it requires a dramatically new approach to fix it.

Since last fall's successful byelection, we have been working with a wide range of community groups, housing advocates, industry leaders, planners and academics to provide us with the insight and expertise we need to chart the path forward.

This plan outlines how YES Vancouver will:

  • Legalize and build more affordable housing,
  • Target speculators, not homeowners,
  • Clean up the development and permitting process, and
  • Build thriving, inclusive neighbourhoods for families.

It's time to say "YES" to do everything in our power to make this city more affordable for everyone.

It's time to say "YES" to uniting Vancouverites, regardless of where they were born or the amount of money they have in their pockets.

It's time to say "YES" to a truly open, free, welcoming and caring global city.

It's time to say "YES" to fixing our housing crisis.

Read our comprehensive #LetsFixHousing Action Plan


Transportation

Introduction

Good transportation is about connecting people, when and where they need it. Great transportation brings people together.

The best transportation plan is a good land use plan. We can no longer afford to treat zoning and transportation planning as separate endeavours. YES will plan a transportation system that works synergistically with our Let’s Fix Housing Action plan. That starts with connecting our rehumanized neighbourhoods with rapid transit.

YES would leverage the value created by the Let’s Fix Housing Action Plan and look at innovative funding models to fund the largest transit expansion in Vancouver’s history. We must invest in transit for current and future demand. London’s first Underground tunnel is still in operation 155 years after construction. Transit infrastructure is an investment in current and future generations.

Say YES to Better Transit
Build The Broadway Line To UBC

YES Vancouver will connect students, employees and researchers with the city, by extending the Broadway Line all the way to UBC in one phase. The 99B is the busiest bus route in North America. This overcrowded bus serves British Columbia’s largest university and second largest centre of employment along the Broadway corridor. We can invest in our region's prosperity by connecting these two engines of the economy to the regional rapid transit system. Yes Vancouver will work with Translink, UBC and senior levels of government to build the Broadway Line to UBC is a single phase.

B-Line To Rail

YES Vancouver will initiate a B-Line to Rail Program. YES will work with Translink and senior levels of government to upgrade the existing, and soon to be implemented B-Lines to rail rapid transit, starting with the 99B to UBC. YES will implement a program to plan, finance and build a high capacity, rapid transit backbone over the next 15 years.

Improve Existing Rapid Transit

YES will work to improve our existing rapid transit infrastructure, including upgrading the Canada Line by running more frequent trains.

Late Night Skytrain

YES will work with Translink to extend SkyTrain hours of operation on Friday and Saturday nights and to expand night bus service. Every Friday and Saturday night doubles the number of people downtown. Nightclubs close after SkyTrain closes, leaving a crush of people without the transportation options that they need. Expanding late night transit will improve safety, reduce impaired driving and provide an economic boost to the hospitality and tourism industries.

Improving Buses

YES Vancouver will work with Translink to:

  • Improving Our Local Bus Network: No rapid transit system is complete without great local bus service to connect the SkyTrain with people’s homes and businesses. YES will work with Translink to provide better transit access to underserved areas of the city, such as the South Vancouver Fraserlands, where significant development is happening without proper transit infrastructure to support.
  • Upgrade Roads To Better Support Transit: YES will upgrade our roads to add bus lanes and priority traffic signals, where appropriate.
  • Increase Service On Overcrowded Routes: YES will work to add more frequent and higher capacity buses on our overcrowded routes.
  • Digital Bus Signs On Major Roads: YES will expand the use of digital bus sign that display when the next bus will come, from Main Street to other major transit corridors.
Active Transportation
Walkability

YES will rehumanize our neighbourhoods by putting people first. A rehumanized community is one that fosters interaction. Our common spaces must support, human centred methods of travel, such as walking.

YES to creating walkability by:

  • Prioritizing Pedestrian Infrastructure: YES Vancouver will create walkable neighbourhoods and prioritize pedestrian infrastructure, so walking is safe and comfortable.
  • Create Pedestrian Spaces: YES will create vibrant pedestrian plazas.
  • Planning Human Scale Neighbourhoods: YES Vancouver will create neighbourhoods where people can live, work, shop and enjoy many of our city’s offerings all within walking distance.
Cycling

YES will support active transportation, however the degree to which the issue has been politicized as a wedge issue is disappointing. The city should continue to support and invest in active transportation. Decisions are to be made based on sound transportation planning and engineering principles, in conjunction with community consultation, not as a way to score political points.

Decrease Congestion with a Smart Cities Approach

YES will use a Smart Cities approach to decrease congestion. A Smart City is not just about technology. It is about creating and nurturing a resilient, livable and workable city through the use of technology, data and social innovation. YES will be smart in both our integrated land use and transportation plan and the technologies we use to implement our plans.

YES will use better data to create a better driving experience. Let’s leverage our city’s tech talent and the data collected from our traffic management system and use machine learning to create a traffic light timing system that responds in real time to changing road conditions.

YES will be establishing a demand based parking price system that will automatically provide reduced parking rates during periods of low demand for parking.

More Convenient Taxis

YES to better, more convenient taxis in Vancouver immediately.

YES will change the bylaws to create more designated pick up spots, so Vancouverites don’t have to try to flag down a passing cab, and cabs will no longer have to drive around looking for a pick up, reducing vehicle kilometres traveled and emissions.

Connecting Vancouver to the World
Cascadia High Speed Rail

YES to better regional connections. YES supports the proposed Cascadia High Speed Rail Line connecting Vancouver to Seattle and Portland.

YES supports improving passenger and freight transportation links to our regional neighbours to the south to foster trade, tourism and business links.

Port Traffic and Goods

YES will support the Port of Vancouver as one of the main drivers of the Vancouver economy. It is the largest employer in the region and every year more than $200 billion of goods travel through the port. YES will support this vital economic engine by working to expand and improve the transportation links between port facilities in the City of Vancouver and the businesses that depend on the goods ship through the ports.


Small Business and the Economy

Small Business
  • Fix Housing: YES will work to fix the housing crisis. Attainable, affordable housing is a precondition to a prosperous economy. It’s not enough to have good jobs - people have to be able to afford a life here. We are at an inflection point: if housing costs continue on their current path, Vancouver will become the Monaco of North America. To preserve and grow our vibrant, innovative, working economy, there is no alternative to a dramatic course-correction on housing.
  • Make Property Taxes Fair: YES will freeze commercial property taxes until the ratio is no more than 2:1, and strive for even greater fairness. Small business owners shouldn’t have to face an existential dread due to the unfair property taxes. Although commercial properties represent 17% of total assessed value in Vancouver, 44% of property tax revenues are extracted from employment space. Of BC’s 20 largest cities, Vancouver has the 6th most lopsided ratio.
  • Preserve and Expand Industrial Space: YES will ensure that redevelopment does not occur at the expense of job space, and zone industrial areas for greater commercial density. For the past 3 decades, city policy has rapidly converted industrial lands into residential lands - resulting in a loss of space available for critical economic activity and employment space.
  • Expand Choices for Small Businesses: YES will legalize neighbourhood commercial space on non-arterial streets, relieving pressure on small businesses and adding life to neighbourhoods. Enjoying a morning at a neighbourhood cafe on a quiet street is a feature of great cities, but foreign to Vancouver. Status quo zoning forces all retail space onto arterial roads, artificially restricting the amount and range of spaces available to small businesses - and depriving residents of the simple pleasures of urban life.
  • Listen to BIA’s: YES will establish formal and regular channels of communication/consultation between BIA volunteers, city staff, and council members. In every corner of the city, Vancouver’s neighbourhood Business Improvement Associations possess unparalleled knowledge of what makes enterprises and communities thrive.
  • Modernize Commercial Zoning: YES will streamline zoning to 3 retail categories, and 3 industrial categories. With literally dozens of antiquated commercial zoning categories, staff and applicants waste time haggling over which precise category a budding enterprise counts as, and which types of associated red tape apply. This often adds months to the process, straining entrepreneurs and wasting tax dollars.
  • Support Split Tax Assessments: YES will work with BC Assessment to establish split property tax assessments. At present, small business owners pay property taxes based on the hypothetical development potential of their property. Worse still, the entire development potential is taxed at the (much higher) commercial rate, even if the potential is residential. Vision knows that this is a problem, but has been afraid to take a stand and call-on BC Assessment to split assessments.
Economy
  • Support Regional Economic Connectivity: YES will support regional economic connectivity. YES will work with other local and senior governments in South West British Columbia and along the entire Cascadia Corridor. YES will support projects to connect Vancouver to the region, including the proposed High Speed Rail line to Seattle and Portland.
  • Support the Port of Vancouver: YES will support economic development and work to ensure smooth flow of goods to and from the port, while working to minimize the impacts of port operations. The Port of Vancouver is the largest employer in Metro Vancouver.
  • Support and Expand Vancouver’s Hospitality Industry: Vancouver has a vibrant tourism sector, yet while the tourism has grown, Vancouver has lost over 1800 hotel rooms. YES will work with the hospitality industry to expand hotel and other hospitality spaces.
  • Build More Patios: YES will work to expand patio space, so residents and tourists alike can enjoy themselves outside.

Opioid Crisis

A Compassionate Response to the Opioids Crisis

YES will build upon the four pillars approach to provide a comprehensive and compassionate response to the opioid crisis.

  • Support Overdose Prevention Sites: YES believes in putting harm reduction first and will support overdose prevention and safe consumption sites.
  • Work to Increase Access to Naloxone: YES will work to expand access to life saving Naloxone to counteract overdoses.
  • Expand Access to Drug Safety Tests: YES will work to ensure fentanyl test kits are available, so at risk people will know what they are consuming.
  • Support the Province of BC And Vancouver Coastal Health in Providing Services to Drug Users: YES will support the provincial health services.
  • Support Efforts to De-stigmatize Addiction and Mental Illness: YES will support efforts to remove the stigma surrounding addiction and mental illness, through education and community engagement.
  • Work to Ensure Supportive and No-Barrier Housing Facilities Have Onsite Addiction and Mental Health Support Services: YES will continue to support those seeking recovery by bundling addiction and mental health services with supportive and no-barrier housing facilities in the city. Acquiring secure housing is an important step towards recovery.
  • Better Support For Front Line Workers: YES will increase resources and support to city personnel on the front lines of the addiction crisis.

Say YES to a compassionate, innovative system, where everyone learns differently and is equally supported. Say YES to supporting the expansion of financial literacy & other useful life skills in schools.

CHOICE

Schooling must be more than a one-fit all model. YES believes in diverse programing within an accessible public school system.

  • Support abundant out-of-school care.
  • Enhance basic financial literacy in schools, budgeting, filing taxes, entrepreneurship and other useful life skills.
  • Support the construction of new schools in Coal Harbour, East Fraser Lands/River District, and the Cambie Corridor. Help address childcare space shortages.
  • Invest in music, art, science, and leadership min-schools.
  • Learn from innovation in education worldwide.
  • Increase citizen input and reduce bureaucracy.
FISCAL STEWARDSHIP AND SAFETY
  • Accelerate the completion of seismic resistance for all schools in the district.
  • Raise funds through the rental of underutilized space.
  • Support partnerships, such as BC Hydro’s pledge to build more schools.
  • Replace old plumbing, permanently shut down some fountains, and install water bottle filling stations to ensure kids aren’t being exposed to the lead that’s in some of pipes in our schools.
  • Pass a balanced budget.
COMPASSION
  • Launch a strong campaign to erase bullying and support students, parents and educators. Facilitate anonymous reporting and a culture of tolerance.
  • Improve options for special needs students and Individualized Learning Plans (IEP).
  • Expand breakfast programs and healthier food choices.
  • Support teachers with greater flexibility and professional development.
  • Invest in physical education, sports, and other tools for good mental health.
EXCELLENCE
  • Expand language offerings to reflect the diversity of Vancouver and global job opportunities.
  • Support gifted students to take courses at Universities and Colleges.
  • Enhance mathematics options towards greater meaning, beauty, and usefulness.
  • Collaborate with City Council to expand the supply of affordable market housing available to educators.

Say Yes to our Parks!

SAY YES TO:

  • setting yearly goals and working with others so that the number of dog parks in the city are increased, making Vancouver truly a city for all.
  • ending prohibition era by-laws, allowing for responsible consumption of alcohol at our Parks and Beaches.
  • supporting and funding community centres, to enrich the hubs and hearts of our neighbourhoods.
  • being compassionate and caring towards those who are struggling with homelessness.
  • ensuring our kids and families feel safe in our parks.
  • making beaches our priority and spotlighting them as the incredible destinations that they are!
BACKGROUND
Dog Parks

YES Vancouver is seriously invested in working to promote and enhance the well-rounded Dog Park Strategy that Park Board staff have produced. We want to set clear goals for steadily increasing the number of dog parks on a yearly basis.

We are focused on increasing public engagement in dog stewardship, pet/animal education, and community events that bring people and pets together.

We are dedicated to increasing the number of public spaces for dog families to enjoy as this will reduce the wear and tear on current off leash parks and give people multiple choices for where to take their dogs.

As the city continues to grow, we need to ensure we have sufficient space for people and and their families to enjoy our parks responsibly.

We are committed to working with private and public stakeholders to grow the current red bin dog waste collection, while ensuring that we effectively promote better options for dog waste disposal that excludes single use plastic bags.

We are committed to making this city proactively dog and pet friendly and as such believe that Park Staff should focus less on enforcement and more on public education of good etiquette. We want to promote park rangers as educators and community aids, as opposed to enforcement officers.

We want to ensure that people are looking to city staff and park rangers as helpful guides, promoting the goal of working in tandem so that everyone feels welcome in our parks.

No tickets on first offence, and staff can help educate and be compassionate with people.

Park Safety

YES Vancouver is committed to working with non-profits and other groups including city staff to ensure that city parks are safe for all to use, and appropriate maintenance occurs in heavily used parks.

We want to focus more funding on ensuring parks are rid of dangerous paraphernalia so that our kids and families who share the space feel safe.

Our team is committed to securing funding to increase the number of Park Board staff who work in maintenance, gardening and other areas that are geared towards improving our parks and green spaces.

Housing is a major issue in the city, and together with council we want to proactively have staff (Park Rangers) offer assistance to those who need it most. We want to have a compassionate approach that provides support and guidance of available services to those who are seeking shelter in parks after hours.

Parks are public spaces, and we need to collaborate on respecting the rules. Together we can take a strong stance in making it a priority to make families feel welcomed and safe in our urban parks.

As our city grows, it’s important we invest in our future and educate everyone, especially kids, on how to respect public spaces, be safe and avoid dangerous situations in parks.

Community Centres

YES Vancouver is committed to working with all PB commissioners to ensure that we foster a positive, dynamic and individualized relationship with each Community center and their board.

We want to support a Park Board that works with each CCA and their respective by-laws.

We want to grow and foster the unique relationship that the Park Board has with each Community Center Association, and address their needs in providing arts, recreational and athletic programs to their communities.

We want to ensure that over a period of time, funding is properly allocated to upgrade these community hubs.

YES is committed to looking at many ways of upgrading facilities, improving maintenance and upkeep and providing the support needed for the community centers to be at their best.

We need to develop innovative relationships and agreements in consultation with Community Centres in order to provide more athletic programs at the novice and competitive level. We want to work with all partners to bring in different types of sports and recreational activities into Vancouver and not have families travel out of city limits to access great recreational programs.

We are in full support of Creekside community centre creating its own Community Centre Association so locals nearby can better meet their community needs.

Beer and wine in parks

YES Vancouver believes that people should be able to enjoy a beer or glass of wine at parks and beaches, and as such we want to responsibly reduce prohibition era by-laws.

Public intoxication is a crime for which offenders should take full responsibility for, however that should not limit responsible parents and adults from enjoying leisurely drinks in our city parks.

We want to work with others to improve and find ways to ensure we elevate our beaches to the quality we once had.

It’s important to address our world class beaches with an approach that takes into account the environment as well as the quality of our facilities.

We need to start looking at ways to improve the water quality of False Creek in conjunction with the new development plan at North East False Creek. We believe that as we work towards producing a world class park and green space in the waterfront area,we should simultaneously be clearing up the False Creek water body itself.

We are in support of commissioning a report that will take into account the changing climate, population growth, and impact of waste disposal from boats.

Growing Park Space for a Growing City

Vancouverites take pride in the wonderful parks, community centres and cultural centers the city offers. As our population grows it is imperative to preserve and expand them. In order to achieve the goal of 1.1 hectares of parkland per 1000 residents, parks will need to be expanded upon and new ones created. We say YES to expanding our parks and amenity centers. To do this Vancouver will have to use its land more efficiently and de-sprawl the city. By using land more effectively for housing we will be able to free up land for parks.

We want to be bold and innovative with our park spaces, and ensure that parks are there to serve everyone in the community. This includes looking at urban trails, city gardens, setting efficient and sustainable systems for festivals and concerts, all the while ensuring we have quiet green escapes for people who want to have easy access to nature within city limits.