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Olga Ilich to co-chair Mayor’s task force on housing affordability

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has announced today that Olga Ilich, a former  provincial cabinet minister with "extensive" experience in the real estate department, will be co-chairing Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability. Here's more from the press release sent to us by the City of Vancouver:

The task force’s mandate includes examining the causes of unaffordable housing in Vancouver, a review of city land assets for opportunities for new affordable housing and examining financial models in other cities to promote affordable housing, among others.
“I’m very pleased that Ms Ilich will be co-chairing this task force,” says Mayor Robertson. “She brings a wealth of experience in real estate development and construction, having served as President of Suncor Development, Executive VP of Progressive Construction, and President of the Urban Development Institute, among others.
“The thoughtful, pragmatic approach she brought to being a cabinet minister will be a big asset as this task force grapples with the challenges and new ideas related to affordable housing in Vancouver.”
The creation of a Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability is the first order of business for Mayor Robertson at the start of his second term of office, and is coming to council as a motion on Tuesday. The terms of reference for the Task Force as proposed by the Mayor include:
  • Examining the conditions that exist in Vancouver that create unaffordable housing.
  • Reviewing all City of Vancouver land and capital assets to identify opportunities for new affordable housing.
  • Assessing risks and opportunities of existing City-owned housing assets.
  • Reviewing innovations from other cities in financial and equity models that could facilitate affordable housing creation.
  •  Examining tax models, such as Tax Increment Equivalency Grants (TIEG), that could facilitate affordable housing development.
  • Soliciting public and stakeholder input on meeting the affordable housing challenge.
The task force will be composed of members with expertise in the areas of finance, real estate, market development, architecture and design, academia, federal and provincial policy, non-market housing development and land use planning. Task force members will be chosen by the co-chairs from an open call for applications, to be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by January 6, 2012.
The committee will provide an interim report by March 12, 2012. To ensure the greatest amount of input from citizens, the interim report will seek public input March through to May. A final report will be completed by June 30, 2012 or earlier.  
“The lack of affordable housing is a huge challenge in Vancouver, and impacts everything from our livability to our local economy,” adds Mayor Robertson. “We have an enormous amount of creativity and expertise in Vancouver when it comes to housing, and I’m confident this task force will generate new ideas and proposals to help us enable new affordable housing in our city.”
The motion creating the Housing Affordability Task Force can be found here.

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