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VANA: Vancouver Area Neighbours Association
Counter-balancing housing opponents
Why is housing in Vancouver so scarce and expensive? People want to live and work here (there’s lots of jobs here), and other people want to build housing for them. But neighbourhood opposition makes it slow and difficult to get permission. Prices and rents have to rise to unbearable levels to push people out, especially younger people.
The Vancouver Area Neighbours Association (VANA) is an informal but very active pro-housing group, centered around a Discord server. We believe that neighbourhood character comes from the people who live here. We encourage City Hall to allow an abundance of housing, like low- and mid-rise apartments across the city. We hope to counter-balance opponents, make life easier for renters (with more vacancies they’d have a stronger bargaining position and be less terrified of losing their housing), and make it possible for younger people to stay in Vancouver.
Naturally, there’s a lot of overlap with Abundant Housing Vancouver. AHV focuses on talking to the general public to raise awareness of bad housing policy (like I’m doing with morehousing.ca). VANA focuses on talking to City Hall, like the traditional neighbourhood associations, except that our members tend to be younger people and renters.
We also try to be fun and social, not angry. If you’d like to meet us, we’ll have a table at Car Free Day on Main Street, Saturday September 16 from noon to 7 pm. We’ll be on the east side of Main, between 20th Ave. and 21st. Come talk to us about housing!
Some past battles that we’ve been in over the last couple years, often getting the word out via Reddit, and speaking at public hearings:
"It’s easier to elect a pope than to approve a small apartment building in the city of Vancouver." The Streamlining Rental Plan (second time around), approved December 2021.
The Vancouver Plan. July 2022.
Allowing 12-storey social housing projects. February 2023.