In less than 110 days, the people of Burnaby will be going to the polls to vote for
their Mayor, eight Councillors, and seven School Board trustees.
ONE Burnaby is a new civic electors’ association with a progressive
vision for our city, and we will work hard to earn your vote in October.
ONE Burnaby is dedicated to bringing a diversity of voices, life experiences, and insights to our Council chambers. We’ll be nominating six candidates from across the city, some of whom the people of Burnaby will know, and some who are entirely new to politics and bring new voices and new perspectives.
ONE Burnaby is committed to leading the way by building a stronger and more inclusive Burnaby that brings families together and builds neighbourhoods that become unique villages. We will support growth where families can put down roots and invest in their communities, away from our thriving town centres.
Burnaby Families Together – Leading on Affordably
In Burnaby and across Metro Vancouver, a lack of housing options is causing significant strains on families. Many younger residents who grew up in Burnaby are increasingly looking to move further east in search of reasonably affordable accommodations. My family is no exception.
Twelve years ago, we built a multigenerational house in Burnaby. At that time our daughter and her husband, both young professionals, lived on the 6th floor of an apartment in Burnaby with their 2-year-old daughter. Part of their dream was to live in a home with a backyard in a safe, family orientated neighbourhood.
We started talking. We all wanted to keep family close. Housing prices were more affordable in the Fraser Valley but made travel to work in North Vancouver a heavy burden. It also meant that family would not be close. We explored how we could help and eventually found a solution that worked for us all.
Today we are blessed that our daughter, her husband and two granddaughters can walk freely into our space – if the door is open – which it is 98% of the time. We share two sides of one house, each with our own kitchen, and it has become one home for us all.
This solution made housing affordable for them and for us. Most importantly we are together as a family, enjoying our grandkids as they enjoy their grandparents, and we can now retire and stay in place for as long as possible. When we pass on, the family can continue to stay together for a few generations.
It is a family affordability story upon which we can build.
My personal family experiences now guide me as a newly elected Councillor in our discussions about housing in Burnaby. I know that other families share similar stories to mine, including having a secondary suite that provides modest revenue to make ends meet and enabling owners to stay in place longer as they age.
In the years ahead, demand for housing in Burnaby will continue to grow and prices will continue to rise. The latest projections show that over 100,000 more people may be living in Burnaby and some 48,954 dwelling units will be required by 2050.
How can the city do its part to keep housing ‘affordable’ while so many other factors impact the cost of housing?
I am a strong supporter of laneway housing as one affordable solution to keep families together.
We don’t have to choose between sprawling single-family neighbourhoods and dense skyscrapers as housing options – there is a middle ground. We can implement and improve laneway options with the goal to gently densify our single-family neighbourhoods without the hysteria recently seen in Vancouver.
We could start with a small number of laneway pilot projects in each of our four city quadrants. This pilot approach allows all of us an opportunity to assess the benefits and impacts of laneway housing.
The pilot projects would be open only to families that specifically want to stay together and will commit to a no-sale term of 5 to 10 years. This will set a framework that can limit speculation and the flipping of properties that simply drives up costs.
Burnaby could also consider having a preapproved set of laneway designs that families could choose from. Select your favourite design – job done. Yes, there are other items that will need special
consideration and permits, including siting elevations, foundations, electrical, plumbing, rainwater and sewage drainage and gas hook ups. Those costs will be unique to each site.
The bottom line – it’s time for Burnaby Council to take a real step forward towards providing options for the next generation of families to stay and thrive in our community. We can keep families together and make laneway housing an affordable housing option that is easy to build and can last a generation or more.
February 18, 2022
Brea Huang Sami
- to lead the way,
- to deliver value-added services,
- to find innovative solutions to address our community needs,
- and ensure that Burnaby is a place where people can work and raise a family.
Address: 4720 Kingway, Burnaby, BC V5H4N2
Phone: (778) 722 0309