One of the things I’ve always loved about being a home builder is the fact that my work results in families having a nice place to live and call their own.
Homeownership has long been a cornerstone of the American Dream. It’s one of the most time-tested ways for middle class people to earn equity and pass that wealth on to their children.
But it’s no secret that the dream of homeownership is becoming more difficult for first-time buyers, as the cost of housing continues to skyrocket in our area. This is due largely to an increase of demand, as people flock to the region, being drawn by its scenic beauty and quality of life. A lack of supply is another key contributor to the soaring cost of housing, with home inventories at historic lows.
There are ways to help shrink the gap between supply and demand. If we are going to incentivize development, the end results should be a community in which all people thrive, especially those who have long lived in the neighborhood.
I’ve been speaking out for years at Vancouver City Council meetings about the long-term effects of implementing a multi-family tax exemption. If this goes through, it will do little to drop the cost of housing for the average person in Vancouver and there are ways we can do this smarter and with more accountability.
As different neighborhoods draw private investment, we always run the risk of gentrification. Lower income residents who have lived in those areas, sometimes for generations, are pushed out to make room for more affluent buyers. We have seen this play out in our downtown area.
Based on my years of professional experience, I know it’s possible to revitalize areas that need it while preserving their original character and respecting those who are already residents.
Our housing policies also need to be done in such a way that they address those who have no homes at all.
I’ve also addressed the Vancouver City Council on multiple occasions regarding the ongoing homeless problems that we’re experiencing in our communities. People need access to mental health services and living wage jobs. Improving that access while reallocating underutilized funds and focusing on newer, more innovative ideas, can go a long way towards addressing this crisis.
Having built homes, I know what goes into making a house, both physically and metaphorically. You always need to start with a solid foundation, and I believe we have one here in Vancouver. We can build on that foundation by implementing policies that make housing more affordable, while having sensible policies that don’t gentrify our neighborhoods or reduce accountability.
Our focus should be on revitalizing blighted areas and planning for smart growth. I had to rebuild my business from scratch after the Great Recession a decade ago. Similarly, I think we need to rebuild the parts of Vancouver that need it so those living there now can see and experience the benefits of this revitalization. I’m ready to lead those efforts, and that’s why I’m running for City Council, Position 3.