Principles & Criteria
Several overarching concepts have inspired this competition. The following statements of direction reflect the principles that the competition would like to advance, and the criteria by which the submissions will be judged by. The design of all entries should seek to advance current thinking in the following areas, or explain convincingly why alternatives should be considered with a demonstrated understanding of the goals and challenges involved.
Affordability: The ability for new housing to be affordable is the driving spirit of re:THINK HOUSING. The ideas proposed should create new housing that secures long-term affordability in a City with high land costs.
The competition seeks proposals that address affordability for low to middle-income households in Vancouver, defined as an individual household income of $21,500 to a combined household income of $86,500. Proposals should explain how they will meet this affordability range.
Green Space: The ideas proposed need to consider that the City has adopted a goal to become the greenest city in the world. Proposals must maintain or enhance public access to green space, and should advance city objectives related to Greenest City 2020 goals.
Public land: Any ideas premised on the use of public land must include the ability for public control and ownership to remain in place, be they rental options, long-term leases, housing trusts or other. Projects that require the sale of publicly-owned land to private entities will not be considered.
Neighbourhood integration: Noting that these are highly urban areas and that Vancouver has unique neighbourhoods, proposals should find ways of creatively connecting with natural, historical, and cultural elements of neighbourhoods.
Community needs: Vancouver is a city with specific needs, and the Task Force has outlined four key demographics it seeks to address in new housing solutions:
- lower-income singles and couples with critical needs for suitable rental accommodation;
- singles and couples struggling to buy their first home;
- families with children who want to live in the city rather than have to move to more suburban locations; and
- empty-nesters and seniors wishing to downsize without having to leave their neighbourhood.
Proposals should explain how they address one or more of these needs, and should incorporate appropriate community amenities related to them, such as child care or accessibility measures. Proposals should also explain how they contribute towards making housing options more accessible and adaptable so they can continue to meet the community needs over time.
Financial viability: Ideas should be deliverable without the sale of public land or financial incentives, and enable long-term affordability without government subsidy.
Feasibility: Proposals for new forms or sites of affordable housing can be initiated and built within three years, with preference given to those that require 18 months or less.