Lower Mainland’s affordable housing situation (and what to do about it) is a complex topic and a hot button issue this year. And while there are ideas and opinions abound, we believe that the solution to our low cost housing crisis lies in the forward-thinking, innovative projects of Vancouver developers.

Vancouver is a city that is teeming with diverse communities, and it deserves to see itself reflected in new developments that emphasize inclusivity and equity. Bridging the gap between the diverse local needs of our communities and the bottom-line demands of commerce is something we are beginning to see echoed in our city’s projects, and we love seeing our community developers taking a stand and incorporating these values into their work.

Because at the end of the day, affordable housing that is inclusive, affordable, and reflects quality of livelihood is not a far-reaching vision. The tools are there. They just need to be articulated by the right people.

Last month, Gregory Henriquez, author and renowned architect best known for his complex community-based designs that combine office, condominiums, retail, and social housing, released his fourth book, Citizen City. In it, he echoes a stance that is consistent throughout his work, one that is refreshing in today’s prickly climate: the need for developers and architects to explore their moral-social ties to building homes that promote inclusivity and emphasize public and community diversification of tenants, resident, as well as economic revitalization.

We’re already seeing this in Vancouver: homes encompass new ways of thinking about what a home should look like, be, and is inclusive to our diverse population.

Projects like the Woodward’s development or the Kettle Boffo Project on Commercial Drive are great examples of developers taking a stance and providing progressive solutions to our affordability issues. The Kettle Boffo Project is a development meant to build a strong, more compassion community that offers a range of housing options, along with additional retail and public gathering spaces. Designed around a lower-income demographic and addressing a need to keep those who love the neighbourhood in the neighbourhood, the proposed market housing is an opportunity for our city to learn from.

We believe in developments that encompass connection and incorporate meaningful features that promote livelihood, and we love seeing developers in our community address these more and more in their new projects. More amenities, community benefits, cultural facilities, more transit options; these are the keys to the densification in our city, and our developers hold them. These type of hybrid projects are a holistic approach that, encompassing markets, rentals, and affordable housing into the normal fabric of the city.

Our developers have the power to shape the city we want to live in, and we’re already seeing it take place. It’s these sort of alternative, non-traditional, and affordable ideas that are setting a precedent, sparking inspiration and a change in the landscape of housing in Vancouver