Progressive forward-thinking transit oriented development.

Here in Greater Vancouver, transit oriented development is not seen as a driver of building of affordable housing, in fact it’s been quite the opposite: In Burnaby we are seeing wholesale demovictions of communities with affordable housing bulldozed to make room for new less affordable towers, In Vancouver, where T.O.D has been employed (Marine Drive and Oakridge) proposed developments offer an abysmal portion of affordable housing, but tremendous condo sales and presales.

Recognizing that lower incomed residents are most likely to benefit from access to rapid transit, Seattle is taking a different approach to T.O.D.: the Regional Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) Fund, providing low cost early financing to “pre-buy” lots in areas of proposed T.O.D., before the developers swarm in to build luxury. Here, of course this could be applied proactively to the Broadway corridor and Jericho Lands (though it is probably too late for Boradway/Commercial) — however, it would really require some zoning will on the part of the city. In the Seattle example any properties acquired using REDI funds will be required to provide minimum 25% housing for people below 50% of the median income as well as other targets.

Of course, Seattle has a ward system, and strict campaign finance limits: so the influence of big developer money is not ingrained as it is here. There may not be the political will, and in our case may require some amending of the Vancouver Charter, but it's something that should happen here.


Original Article:

(Photo by Oran Viriyincy)