CHF BC spoke out this week against a surprise Vancouver City Council decision to implement a 2% shift in taxes from commercial to residential properties. The decision carried by a slim majority, despite a strong recommendation from staff that Council should give the issue more serious thought.
The decision will affect more than 200 housing co-ops and non-profit housing providers in the City of Vancouver by increasing their property taxes. The impact could potentially add more than $10 a month to the average co-op housing charge.
When asked by the Vancouver Sun to comment on the decision, CHF BC executive director Thom Armstrong replied “There wasn’t an issue that had more prominence in the municipal election campaign than affordable housing. I’d like all of those councillors who voted for the motion to drop by the office sometime and explain to me how adding any additional tax burden on low- and moderate-income residents of co-ops and non-profit housing projects advances that affordability agenda, because I’m just not seeing it.”
Councillors Sarah Kirby-Young (NPA), Rebecca Bligh (NPA), Lisa Dominato (NPA), Michael Wiebe (Green), Adriane Carr (Green) and Pete Fry (Green) voted in favour of the motion.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart (Independent), Christine Boyle (OneCity), Melissa de Genova (NPA), Colleen Hardwick (NPA), Jean Swanson (COPE) voted against it.