Saying that it's a challenge to find the right type of home, for the right stage of life, at an affordable price in North Vancouver, is an understatement. For many in my generation, the dream of owning our own home seems more and more like a myth as every year passes. It's no wonder that we seem to be missing a generation of North Vancouver citizens. Sure, there are a few brave, dedicated souls who make the sacrifices to stick it out, but more often than not our youth are choosing to live outside the District, or even outside the region, to find a home and a well paying job. I've also heard from those in our elder generation who have expressed an interest in downsizing from their single family home. With few accessible options, it's difficult for our elders to remain in the community that they helped establish.
I agree with the vision of the official community plan. We need to manage density and maximize the potential benefits by focusing growth in a network of complete communities. As always, the devil is in the details and the successful implementation of our shared vision will require the closest adherence to principles. I will be extremely diligent to ensure council sets the right parameters to ensure all major developments:
- Are of the highest quality and aesthetic character;
- Place emphasis on the design of the public realm and are amazing places for people;
- Provide a mix of housing types for all stages of life; and
- Account for the long term costs that the District will pay to service the development.
Although densification and development may provide a wider range of housing types, I do not believe it will address our concerns of housing affordability. We need to look at more innovative approaches, bring best-practices from around the world home and adapt them to the North Vancouver context.