Achieving for Delta candidates are pushing for more housing options for renters, first-time buyers and people looking to downsize later in life.
According to a press release issued on Oct. 11, Delta’s growth has not kept up with demand, especially for those looking to rent, downsize, or enter the market for the first time, despite the city being home to some of the Lower Mainland’s best schools, facilities, and natural wonders, as well as some of the region’s lowest property taxes.
“Having lived here our whole lives, my wife Katie and I are looking forward to starting our family in Delta. But if something doesn’t change quickly, we’re not sure if a future here is possible,” said Dylan Kruger, one of Achieving for Delta’s “millennial candidates” for council. “Our friends are getting married, starting their families, and moving out of Delta to Abbotsford, Chilliwack, or even further because there’s nowhere affordable for them to live — and the local jobs and investments are following them.
“This is a major problem, and now more than ever we need to take bold action on keeping young families in Delta. That’s why I’m running for council under Achieving for Delta: it’s the only slate with a plan to put our young families and seniors first by providing more housing options from day one in office. Because Delta’s young families and seniors can’t wait.”
At his campaign launch in May, Achieving for Delta mayoral candidate George Harvie announced his plan to “completely re-engineer” Delta’s building permit process, with the goal of dramatically reducing timelines and get projects completed faster.
Citing his 17 years as the City of Delta’s city manager, Harvie said the plan will result in less cost to the purchaser or renter, and will allow the city to more quickly collect property taxes, which he promised to invest back into Delta’s facilities, infrastructure, and vital community services.
In the Oct. 11 press release, Harvie said his plan goes beyond removing red tape and overhauling approval processes, instead focusing on “working together with all stakeholders to re-imagine Delta’s housing market without compromising on Delta’s green spaces or agricultural land.”
“I will ensure no one gets left behind by working with agencies such as Metro Vancouver Housing and the provincial and federal governments to ensure we fill the gaps: housing for renters, seniors and young families working to enter the market,” Harvie said. “I will also work collaboratively with local builders to identify opportunities for housing development in town centres, where new residents will be situated in close proximity to local shops and restaurants, helping Delta businesses to thrive.”
Harive also promised to ensure that homeowners who choose to provide a secondary suite to help offset housing costs can do so easily while still protecting the identity of Delta’s neighbourhoods, a plan he sees as particularly beneficial for both young families and seniors.
“In my deep connections to our community, I can see that this problem goes so much further than young people. A lack of housing options in Delta is driving entire families apart because our grandparents can’t find a place to downsize,” said Alicia Guichon, another of Harvie’s “millennial candidates” for council. “Not only does this have an emotional impact, displacing our grandparents results in young families losing trusted child care, and it means we’re a bridge or tunnel away from caring for our aging loved ones when they need us most.
“We can do better, and by electing Achieving for Delta on Oct. 20, we will move forward on a complete housing plan that looks after everyone: our youth, seniors, and most vulnerable.”
Harvie said Kruger and Guichon, as the only two millennial candidates standing for election in this race, have made important contributions to his team, raising issues of housing options, transit and Delta’s youth.
(Editor’s note: Dylan Kruger and Alicia Guichon are not the only millennials running for council, though they are the only two on Achieving for Delta’s slate of councillor candidates.)
“Since day one of this campaign, Alicia and Dylan have been passionate voices for Delta’s youth and young families, bringing bold ideas to the table with the goal of building an even brighter future for our city,” Harvie said. “We owe it to our next generation to elect them to a renewed Delta city council, where they can start making a real difference immediately.”
Also running for council under the Achieving for Delta banner are Dan Copeland, Param Grewal, Lois Jackson and Cal Traversy. Erica Beard, Daniel Boisvert, Jessie Dosanjh and Sujay Nazareth are the slate’s candidates for school board.
The civic election will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20.