November 24, 2017 5:09 am

Metro Vancouver politicians to discuss housing affordability near transit

File photo. Metro Vancouver Mayors will meet Friday to discuss a report calling for affordable housing near SkyTrain stations.

THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley
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Local politicians from across the region will meet on Friday to try to find answers on housing affordability near transit stations.

This comes after a regional district study found low-income earners struggle to find affordable housing to match their transportation needs, according to New Westminster mayor Jonathan Cote.

“Sometimes it can be very counterproductive to see the development of affordable housing in locations that are very car-dependent, and can be very costly from a transportation point of view.”

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Cote said the regional district needs to find a way to allow low-income earners to live near the SkyTrain because they are generally regular transit commuters.

He adds the report stated the importance of maintaining and protecting low-rise buildings near transit.

“They might not be as high-density as a new residential tower, but very often those medium-density rental buildings are filled with people who are very often transit users. I know in New Westminster we’ve done a lot to discourage the redevelopment of existing rental buildings, and I think that’s another important part of this discussion.”

However he added the density near some stations in New Westminster, like the 22nd Street Station, needs to be increased.

READ MORE: The growing lack of affordable housing in Metro Vancouver has forced more people to turn living in RVs.

The Greater Vancouver Regional District study found households earning up to $50,000 per year would have to spend more than 30 per cent of their income to live near SkyTrain.

The report suggests the regional district should look at policies in other jurisdictions to generate new affordable rental housing near transit hubs.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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