Sunday, September 23, 2007

Will Gordon Campbell announce 1000 new "non-market" housing units in Vancouver at UBCM?

Reliable sources indicate that BC Premier Gordon Campbell may announce the province is funding creation of 1000 new "non-market" Vancouver housing units at this week's Union of BC Municipalities conference.

The move would shore up a vulnerability on housing issues after the embarrassing claim that the February 2007 budget was a "housing" budget - merely because Finance Minister Carole Taylor said tax cuts in the budget would allow people to spend income they saved on housing.

To Taylor and the BC Liberals that somehow amounted to a $2 billion housing plan, a completely bogus boast that was soon jettisoned.

But this announcement, if it comes true, could be a real attempt at some form of social housing for those in need in the downtown core.

It would also come after the surprise announcement in April of this year that the province was buying up 11 residential Single Room Occupancy hotels - 10 in Vancouver and one in Victoria - in a move that stunned poverty advocates.

With a substantial budget surplus, the BC Liberals can well afford to create housing units - a move that would also further frustrate their New Democrat opposition.

The BC Liberals effort to reposition themselves as a centrist, fiscally conservative but social conscious party and government appears to be continuing, a dramatic change from the hard-right, slash and burn approach Campbell took in his first term.

1000 new non-market housing units from the province would also be of immense relief to beleaguered Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, who needs some success to point to for his efforts.


Anonymous said...

In2002 Jack Poole told a roomful of developers that "the real purpose of the 2010 Olympic games is to seduce the federal and provincial governments and the long suffering taxpayers into footing a billion dollar bill to pave the path for future real estate sales" (Georgia Straight, May 31, 2007} That's why we have a so called economic boom which is about to collapse due to the US disaster in housing and the credit crunch. Maybe folks will then wake up to how they've all been taken by Gordo and Poole.

Bill Tieleman said...

In today's Vancouver Sun, municipal affairs reporter Frances Bula reports that "Still others have heard that there will be a big housing announcement" when Gordon Campbell speaks at the UBCM Friday.