Ian's Housing-Friendly YVR Voter Guide

On October 20th Vancouver voters have to pick a Mayor and 10 council members. It takes a lot to go through it all and I've had a few friends ask for some insight so I made this guide to influence those less obsessive than I am.

A lot of this was made with the help from Chris Porter's Housing Primer, the official voting guide, a crap load of financial disclosure forms, a smattering of candidate pages and Twitter feeds, and my own biases.

My Priorities

This is a one issue election: Affordable Housing

I'm a one-issue voter for this race. I know the opiod epidemic and transit are issues for some people, but housing is a massive issue affecting everyone in Vancouver and there are levers within Municipal purview that can improve afforablity (especially on the supply side). Plus, affordable housing bleeds into those other issues. 

As for me, I rent in Yaletown and my houshold is DINK'D (Double Income, No Kids, one Dog). I work at a local tech startup so my financial interests are in creating affordable housing for talent reasons. The housing crisis is so bad that I'm more/less disregarding any other issues I care about because they're all dwarfed by housing. For example, I buy the arguments for more transit, but I've never lost friends to other cities because of it like I have housing.

Mayor's Race

There are 21 Candidates running for Mayor of Vancouver. However, once you take out the Nazi (yes, there is one), the convicted murder (yes, there is one), the naked one (yes, there is one), the other crackpots, and the unlikelies you're left with 4 frontrunners. I won't suggest more than the top 4 because 3/4 are pretty good in regards to housing and I don't think the Mayor's race is the most interesting one. Whomever wins won't have a majority on council so that's far more interesting.

Independent

Far and away the front-runner, Stewart was a NDP MP for Burnaby. Stewart's housing plan seems to want to build a mix of market and non-market housing while keeping demand restrictions in place.

NPA

Co-founder of Nurse Next door, Sim got the NPA nomination after some interesting drama within the party which led current City Councilor Hector Bremner to leave and form his own party. Least density-friendly of front-runners.

Independent

The other progressive choice along with Stewart and has similar housing policies except with a little more emphasis on co-op housing and co-housing.

Bremner, Hector

YES Vancouver

Splitered from the NPA to create a more pro-density party "YES Vancouver". Probably the one willing to be the most bold in terms of supply side in terms of market housing.

City Council (Pick 10)

Hard-Yes

Crook, Adrian

Independent

Dude behind the "5 Kids 1 Condo" blog, he's definitely the front-runner amoung the pro-housing-density independents. 

Why he has a mormon-levels of offspring in a city I do not know, but I'm on board with his plans to increase housing supply as whatever pinch I feel, he's going to feel worse.

Independent

Another pro-density independent but with a more millenial bent.

Cook works in tech and is thus probably the closest to me in a demographic sense and seems great on both supply and demand side of housing.

Cook even comes off as super-millenial in his financial disclosures, as he apparantly read the articles saying millenials are all about ETFs.

Lean-Yes

A United Church minister and climate activist, Christine is part of OneCity. OneCity is a little more left of how I would normally vote; but their pro-density housing policies are what are going to get me on board.

YES Vancouver

YES Vancouver a the new party led by Hector Bremner with a pro-density bent. Ostler appears to be a frontrunner from this pro-density party. Whether you support Hector or not, pro-density councilors will hopefully help increase supply. That said, YES seems to want to remove some of the demand side efforts like the empty homes tax, so 3 of them is probably enough.

YES Vancouver

Another from YES Vancouver, I kinda liked her because she's a small business owner in the travel industry.

YES Vancouver

Rounding out my YES Vancouver picks is Jaspreet, who runs a local pharmacy. 

Independent

I'm taking a bit of a flyer on this one. McDowell is another pro-housing independent with an interesting background as a diplomat. He's gotten enough endorsements to make him a credible independent.

Reluctant Yes

OneCity

I've done a few eyerolls over things Yan has done or said on Twitter, but none of those really matter. He's an up-and-comer in municipal politics and I'm on board with the OneCity housing platform.

ProVancouver

Rezel is with ProVancouver and has been calling out a lot of BS that seems to be happening in regards to AirBNB. ProVancouver is mostly focused on demand-side restrictions. They came out eyebrow-raisingly hard against the city-wide duplex up-zoning. I get that the "type" of housing we build matters, but we have to remember our goal is affordable housing, not punishing whomever helped get us into this mess.
(side note: in what is probably the nerdiest thing ever done on the official voter guide, Rezel linked his GitHub account)

ProVancouver

Less antagonizing party-mate of Rezel with an extremely trustworthy beard.

Rounds out the "limit-demand" wing of my picks.