Affordable housing holds key to city’s economic success: VEDC

Vancouver’s future economic success hinges as much on increasing the supply of affordable housing as it does on competitive taxes, the executive director of the Vancouver Economic Development Commission told council Tuesday.

It could also be more critical than a “rendering farm,” the massive computer hardware installation that makes data-heavy industries like digital special effects firms happy to be here. (The VEDC is working on one of those as well.)

Lee Malleau, who was unveiling the VEDC’s Economic Action Strategy, said Vancouver is emerging as a key hub of the video and digital special effects sector, along with Los Angeles and London. But unlike those two cities, Vancouver lacks reasonably-priced housing.

Creating that housing will be essential, Malleau said, if the city is to continue to attract international talent, whose wages will go much further in cities with cheaper homes.