Vancouverites are getting ready to take to the streets demanding the province to act on housing and crackdown on rampant speculation and criminal activity plaguing the the region’s real estate market.
The first Rally for Affordable Housing Action by the umbrella group Affordability Action Hub is scheduled for Sunday, February 18 ‒ two days before Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James will unveil the much anticipated budget.
The constituent members of the Hub include Housing Action for Local Taxpayers (HALT), Richmond’s Changing Neighborhoods, Pets OK BC and Vancouver Is Falling (VIF).
“Unregulated global capital and widespread real estate speculation have driven up housing prices and driven out long-time residents,” the organizers wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “Empty houses dot our landscapes while homelessness levels continue to climb. Whistleblowers pointing to corruption emerge almost daily.”
“Residents across the Lower Mainland and beyond need to pressure government to ensure housing is accessible for residents of ALL income levels,” they added. “We are concerned citizens from diverse backgrounds working together to stop the housing affordability crisis from spreading, and we call upon everyone affected to join us.”
The organizers want people of all income levels, ages and backgrounds to come together to send a strong message to the government that housing action is long overdue.
“Together, we will tell government that we no longer tolerate our province to be run by profit-driven individuals and corporations,” they wrote. “We demand our government close the loopholes, punish lawbreakers, clamp down on exploitation, and even the playing field across the province.”
Meanwhile, in response to harsh criticism on social media, Housing Minister Selina Robinson reassured British Columbians that action was just around the corner.
“We have been modelling various ways to address speculation, transparency and foreign capital,” she said. “We believe it is important to get it right so this needed to be done. Stay tuned to budget later this month.”
The organizers of the rally are currently finalizing the venue for the even