The affordable housing crisis – namely how future mayors and councils plan to fix the issue – is a top concern for voters ahead of the civic elections in October, a new survey suggests.
Poll findings from a survey conducted by the Mustel Group and released Sept. 8 found that a growing concern for 71 per cent of voters – both residents and businesses – is that the region’s high cost of living and quality of life will worsen over the next four years.
Roughly half of the respondents said the concern has left them considering moving away from the region and 36 per cent of business owners setting up shop elsewhere.
Meanwhile, politicians who responded to the survey were more hopeful, with only 39 per cent expecting the cost of living and quality of life in the region to worsen.
“Affordable housing is the key issue in this election, but concerns are also expressed about how such housing will be absorbed by neighbourhoods when community services and infrastructures are already stressed,” said Mustel Group president Evi Mustel. “Residents accept the need for multi-family housing but only if it’s a scale that can be accommodated by their neighbourhood.”
The survey included responses from 500 adults, 180 members from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and 65 current mayors, councillors and candidates running in the upcoming election on Oct. 15.
Other issues like transportation and transit, as well as crime and public safety were also at the top of the list of concerns for voters.
Residents, businesses and politicians agreed that more needs to be invested in transit services to keep up with the needs of the politician.
Fifty-five per cent of residents, 77 per cent of politicians and 62 per cent of business owners said the region needs more investments in transit.
As for taxes, 47 per cent of residents and 61 per cent of business owners said they do not believe increased property taxes have been invested in a way that improves city services. Sixty-eight per cent of politicians said they believe taxes have been.
In terms of voting, 57 per cent of residents say they prefer to vote for a mix of candidates from different parties as opposed to choosing from a single party slate.