Is Vancouver Building Enough Housing?

… and how will we know?

In 2018, the Vancouver City Planning Commission (VCPC) brought together a collaborative Summit on a “City For All” where we engaged more than 225 participants including other City Advisory Committees, community groups, and various organizations both public, private, academic, and non-profit. One important theme and principle that emerged from the Summit was the goal of delivering “Housing for All” in Vancouver.

Vancouver has been struggling with housing insecurity for generations, and continues to grapple with the challenge even today. On July 6, 2021 the VCPC held a panel discussion to explore these questions:

  • Is there a role for housing targets?
  • How do we know whether we’re making any progress?
  • How can non-profit and/or market housing approaches improve Vancouver’s housing affordability outcomes?



Jens von Bergmann is the president of MountainMath, a Vancouver based data analytics and visualization company. Jens takes a data-driven approach to Vancouver housing and demographics questions, and has worked on projects like CensusMapper and the Metro Vancouver Zoning Project that make demographic, housing and planning data accessible to broader audiences. On his blog Jens regularly addresses questions of public interest through data.

Jens’ slides can be found here.

Jennifer Maiko Bradshaw is a data analyst and director of Abundant Housing Vancouver. She became a housing activist when she saw the massive opposition to desperately needed Temporary Modular Housing across Metro Vancouver and resolved to help organize support for future projects. She was born in Kawasaki and misses the eclectic, dense, and vibrant cities of Japan, all connected by excellent train and bus networks and with a tiny fraction of the homelessness of North American cities. She strongly believes in land back, that housing policy is climate policy, and in just, equitable, inclusive cities.

Jennifer’s slides can be found here.

Nathanael Lauster is a UBC sociology professor and sometime demographer who primarily studies housing, home, households, and cities. He is the award-winning author of The Death and Life of the Single Family House: Lessons from Vancouver on Building a Livable City and Principle Investigator (with Jens von Bergmann) of the CMHC-funded Metro Vancouver Zoning Project. Nathan also runs the blog Home: Free Sociology.

Nathan’s slides can be found here.


Lilian Chau is passionate about affordable housing and creating more equitable, inclusive and healthy communities. She is the Director of Community Real Estate at Brightside Community Homes Foundation, leading the strategic development of affordable rental housing for seniors, families and people with disabilities in Metro Vancouver. She is grateful and privileged to be doing this work and living with her family on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Lilian is a Registered Professional Planner with almost 20 years of experience in urban planning, public engagement, and innovative social purpose real estate developments. Prior to joining Brightside, she managed Vancity Credit Union’s affordable housing program, supporting the community housing sector to find ways to fund, finance and develop affordable housing and social purpose real estate.

She is currently a Board Director for the Hiyám ta Sḵwxwú7mesh Housing Society with the Squamish Nation and an Adjunct Professor with the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC. Lilian has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology, and a M.A. from the School of Community and Regional Planning, both from UBC.

Chat Transcript

A transcript of the chat can be found here.


A list of attendee questions can be found here.

Video Transcript

Coming soon!