Our Questions for the New Chief Planner

It's official: Vancouver has finally hired a new Chief Planner! And Abundant Housing Vancouver has some questions we'd like to ask him. You probably have some questions too, so send your warm welcome to Gil Kelly and ask him about what he can do to foster more abundant housing in Vancouver.  

Kelly's prior experience has been as Director of Planning in Portland, San Francisco, and Berkeley, California - all cities with a harsh shortage of homes for all the people who want to live there. We're sure he'll bring many lessons learned here to Vancouver.  

Below is what Reilly, Adrian, Sebastian and I wanted to ask him, but please add your voice and send your questions to him directly.

Dear Mr. Kelley:

Welcome to Vancouver, and congratulations on the new job.

Abundant Housing Vancouver is a non-partisan organization of Vancouver residents who agree that building more homes is an important part of making Vancouver a more affordable, diverse, and welcoming place to live.  We would greatly appreciate if you could take the time to answer our questionnaire on housing policy.

  • How do you envision more homes as part of the set of solutions to Vancouver’s housing crisis?

  • How can the process for planning and approving multi-family housing projects be improved?

  • Planning outreach tends to self-select for input from people who

    • Already have stable housing in the affected area

    • Have the time, resources, and knowledge to engage with the City.

How will you incorporate more diverse groups in the planning process?

  • Do you think that Vancouver's housing policies are compatible with a sustained economic boom (as seen in the San Francisco Bay Area recently, for example), and if not what specifically needs to change?

  • We here at Abundant Housing Vancouver believe, partly through lived experience, that more multi-family homes in affluent areas, such as much of the West Side, would take pressure off of more affordable areas in the rest of the city. Do you agree?

  • What are your thoughts on the importance of reducing the time between proposals and approvals?

  • A planner from San Francisco once said, “You cannot lower the cost of housing by building more supply. Supply creates its own demand.” What are your thoughts on this statement?

  • With the recent approval of the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, do you envision this process being extended to other neighborhoods in the city?

  • Gentle density or "missing middle" projects are in short supply in Vancouver, yet potentially represent a great compromise between towers and single family homes. Will the City encourage more of this type of development, and how?

  • If you could identify a housing planning concept or idea you've seen work elsewhere that you're excited about exploring for Vancouver, what would it be?

See you around City Hall!


Abundant Housing Vancouver