I’m Adrian Crook, a father of five who rents a 1,000 square foot apartment in downtown Vancouver.

You might know me better as 5 Kids 1 Condo.

For me, living how and where I do is a choice.

But many young Vancouverites and families like ours don’t have a choice. They’re living paycheque to paycheque, paying rent on homes that are often sold out from underneath them. They’re then forced into bidding wars on rental apartments, left to languish on co-op waitlists, or end up “boomeranging” back to their parents’ house.

We’re on edge, frustrated that what the houses that are being built, don’t seem to be benefiting us.

As a result, 43% of Vancouver families are considering leaving our city. That’s over 300,000 families, according to an Angus Reid poll.

Vancouver’s epidemic of fleeing families and young adults is why we’re inundated with “Goodbye Vancouver” letters. It’s why our Vancouver businesses are increasingly struggling to find employees. And it’s why some of our oldest neighbourhoods are declining in population.

Not wanting to merely bear witness to or cast judgment on Vancouver’s downfall, I co-founded Abundant Housing Vancouver in 2016. As a Director of AHV, I’ve successfully advocated for over 3,000 new homes, including Temporary Modular Housing for our homeless residents, social housing and affordable rentals.

It’s also why I continue to promote the benefits of raising kids in our city, while defending parents’ rights from needless government intervention (like when the government told me my kids couldn’t take the bus).

Today, our city is at a crossroads.

We can turn inward, fight with each other, and let recent partisan squabbles sink our progress, or we can look outward and see the potential we have to remedy our homelessness and housing crisis. The potential that springs from the values that hold us together: fairness, diversity, sustainability, safety and caring for those in need.

I’m Adrian Crook and I am an independent voice for Vancouver.