October 23, 2016 10:54 pm

Global summit in Vancouver to address affordable housing crisis

WATCH ABOVE: It's no secret that Vancouver is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. The recent foreign buyers tax tried to slow sky rocketing house prices, but as Tanya Beja reports, experts say we need to do much more.

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Vancouver is preparing to welcome housing planners from around the world as it looks for solutions to the affordability problem.

The city will host a global summit called Re:Address this week, bringing together experts from London, Vienna, New York and San Francisco.

“We have an affordable housing crisis, we want to reset and make sure we’re setting bigger targets, and dealing with the crisis such as it is,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

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Participants will tackle strategies for long-term housing that benefit people who live and work in the city.

“We have to make sure there’s enough housing to support our economic growth and we’re hearing from CEOs that that’s a big problem – for recruiting people, for keeping people – we’ve got to have more housing available,” Robertson said.

Keiron Johnson agrees. She was recently evicted from her East Vancouver rental unit when the building was sold. The new owners plan to renovate, and the units will likely fetch much higher rates once they are back in the rental market.

Johnson was lucky enough to find a new home, but will be paying 20 per cent more.

“I think it’s indicative of what’s going on in this city. If there’s not housing for middle class people, then where is this city going?” she asked.

The city is looking for public feedback online at vancouver.ca as well as through conference events this week.

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