Coun. Adriane Carr of the Vancouver Greens Party is getting publicity for suggesting last week that the City’s Rental100 program designed to incentivize developers to build purpose built rentals should be over-hauled at some point in the future.
While it is good news that she has finally joined the ranks of the converted, she gives no credit whatsoever to the scores of activists and others who have made public their concerns with this program since it was first introduced as Son of STIR seven long and expensive years ago, and who have actively campaigned against it in two civic elections.
Moreover, she has consistently voted in favour of every unaffordable project subsidised by the City taxpayer and brought forward by Planning since the last election. She has done this, she says, out of a sense of “fairness” to developers working within the Rental100 system, and she intends to continue her largesse with our money until Planning — in their own good time — roll out changes to the program.
She is ignoring the fact that Rental100 is and always has been nothing but a giveaway to the developers, to the tune of many thousands of dollars per suite, and has failed completely to deliver housing units that are affordable to the majority of Vancouverites. She knows full well that this is a program rigged up by a politicized staff back in the day to favour the developers and to give Vision a positive talking point but which has proven to be a desperately unfair situation for Vancouver tax payers and low income workers.
Why is she worrying about the unfairness to developers and ignoring the unfairness to the rest of us?
If she and her party cannot bring themselves to vote against projects that they claim they disagree with, they should at east abstain. More importantly, she and the other Councilors need to tell Planning they have, say, three months to come up with a plan that actually helps the crisis we are in for low-income housing. It is time Council stamped its collective feet and insisted on reclaiming control.