Given my own background, I can personally relate to the challenges people face trying to make ends meet living in Metro Vancouver. Not only am I not detached from the reality of most working citizens, I am one of them.
Housing is a challenge facing every community in Metro Vancouver and Coquitlam is making progress incentivizing the development of a wider range of housing options – housing that will enable families to stay in Coquitlam, for people to put down roots in our city. One example of the progress we are making: as of April 30, 2018 there are an anticipated 3159 new purpose-built rental units and 986 new below-market and non-market in stream. Other cities are looking to our strategy as a model to address housing affordability in their communities.
But affordability isn’t just housing. Citizens need options for transportation, childcare and recreational opportunities.
I will continue to advocate for more buses coming through our neighbourhoods, for cycling infrastructure and for more car-share programs in multi-family developments. Many families can forego their second car and simply utilize car sharing for the “extra” required trips. This is said to save families upwards of $10,000/year.
I am an avid supporter of the development of childcare opportunities in our community – through schools, rec centres and park spaces, through density and regulatory incentives for daycare providers, and through zoning and land use requirements for developers. I am also in favour of looking at ways in which the City can streamline the process for operators to obtain appropriate licenses and looking at ways we can assist groups wanting to operate a child care facility in Coquitlam.
I am also an enthusiastic supporter of affordable recreation opportunities. I support the various Parks and Recreation programs designed with affordability in mind, the Get Connected, Get Active, the One Pass and the Low Cost, No Cost programs – and more. I believe that access to affordable recreation is important for the health of a community.
I support public policy initiatives that help address affordability and will loudly advocate to other levels of government for necessary changes and programs helping to address this challenging issue.