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Affordable housing a top priority for voters in municipal election in Metro Vancouver

A survey of Metro Vancouver residents, businesses and politicians show what issues matter most

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.”

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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.

Survey findings from a 2022 Metro Vancouver survey ahead of the Oct. 15 election. Poll organized by the Mustel Group. (Screenshot/Black Press Media)
Survey findings from a 2022 Metro Vancouver survey ahead of the Oct. 15 election. Poll organized by the Mustel Group. (Screenshot/Black Press Media)

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.

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Affordable housing is the top issue on the mind of residents, businesses and politicians. (Pixabay photo)

Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I started with Black Press Media in the fall of 2022 as a multimedia journalist after finishing my practicum at the Surrey Now-Leader.
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