Statement from BC Urban Mayors' Caucus on Recommendations from the Canada-BC Expert Panel on Housing Supply and Affordability

On behalf of the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus, co-chairs Mayor Basran and Mayor Helps have issued the following statement regarding the recommendations made by the independent Canada-BC Expert Panel on Housing Supply and Affordability on June 17, 2021:

“On behalf of BC’s Urban Mayors, we want to thank the Panel for the incredible amount of work undertaken to put forward these recommendations to increase the housing supply and address issues of affordability that people are facing in communities across the province and right here in our urban centres.

“We know there is not enough housing in our communities that is affordable for the people who live, play and work in them. This has serious ramifications for our businesses, our economic outlooks and the overall well-being of everyone in our communities from young families to seniors. While this report aligns with a portion of the BCUMC Blueprint which calls on the Province of BC to accelerate investments to affordable supportive and social housing, significant and robust consultation with local governments is required. The next step should be a robust round of consultation with local government to review and give input on the suggestions once they are more fully detailed.

“Urban BC is facing huge demand for housing and the problem of housing supply has been decades in the making. We know it will take a long time to resolve but what is clear is that action is needed immediately.

“We look forward to further working with our provincial and federal partners in order to strike a balance that works for local governments, whose communities are most affected by many of the solutions being proposed. This report gives all three levels of government much to consider and crystalizes the need to work together to find bold and creative solutions to the affordable housing crisis. We are here to help take up that challenge.”

About the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus
The BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus is an informal, non-partisan group of mayors from Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George, Richmond, Saanich, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria, representing over 55 per cent of the province’s total population. The group came together in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and acts as a unified voice on critical issues facing their communities and urban British Columbia.

The group published the Blueprint for British Columbia’s Urban Future, which outlines four key priorities for urban communities across the province:

  1. Mental Health, Substance Use and Treatment
  2. Affordable Housing
  3. Public Transit
  4. A New Fiscal Framework

Read the Blueprint here.