Category Archives: BC

Zombie strata

Everybody knows that real estate is the perfect investment, but how many of you are investing in cemetery land? After all they aren’t making any more of it.

As cemeteries run out of space, cities are scrambling to find new land for burials or maximize the land they already have, while some residents are seeking cheaper plots in the suburbs. Familiar housing terms like affordability and density are beginning to have meaning in both life and death.

“We are at, or soon to be at, a crisis in cemetery space,” said Vancouver landscape architect Erik Lees, whose company, Lees & Associates, plans cemeteries across North America. “The Lower Mainland is likely the poorest-served region of all the major cities in Canada.”

Some of the same factors that have driven up the price of housing in B.C. — including geography, zoning and population — have also led to rising cemetery prices, with the remaining 400 to 500 casket spaces at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery priced at $25,000.

Read the full article here.

Class action against Airbnb?

Dude Chillin pointed out this article about a Vancouver strata lawyer preparing a class action suit against Airbnb:

A Vancouver strata lawyer says she is preparing a class action lawsuit against Airbnb, alleging the company is “profiting from the unauthorized use of other people’s property.”

Recently, Polina Furtula — who is on the strata council of her Yaletown condo tower — sent demand letters to Airbnb about unauthorized listings in her building. Airbnb notified the hosts of the complaints and shortly afterwards, the hosts decided to remove their listings.

Read the full article here.

Vancouver condo presales, locals to get first crack

The Mayor is said to be drafting a motion that will give local buyers first chance to buy crack condos:

Mayor Gregor Robertson will introduce a motion to give local residents first crack at pre-sale condo sales Tuesday during a Vancouver city council meeting.

The motion asks city staff to draft a policy framework as part of the city’s “Housing Reset” plan.

Critics of the real estate industry have raised concerns about how the increasingly speculative pre-sale market is pushing up prices in both the pre-sale and resale market, and is preventing local residents from buying.

Presumably this will help to end the homeless problem in Vancouver by giving locals easier access to condo presales.

Read the full article here.

Is more supply the answer?

Southseacompany posted a link to this story about housing supply in the Vancouver area.

“What’s causing the supply shortage is the restrictive single-family home neighborhood zoning on 85% of our residential land base. That keeps out young families, middle income earners and renters, who can’t afford single-family homes,” said Anne McMullin, president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, Pacific Region.

“We clearly need a regional housing strategy with more homes for more people,” she added. “That means more high-rise apartments along rapid transit corridors and more townhomes, rowhomes [and] multi-family low-rises.”

But recent studies show the reverse is true: fewer people can afford to buy condominiums in the Metro suburbs that have seen the greatest increase in supply over the past two years.

Read the full article here.

Couple denied home for having a daughter

What?

There’s likely more to this story than simple discrimination, but a Vancouver couple is claiming they were denied a housing coop home because their second child was a girl.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) guideline suggests children of opposite sexes can’t share a bedroom if they are over the age of five, but it’s OK for children of the same sex to do so.

Gottfried and Hurtig believe it should be up to parents to decide when and if children share a room.

“I would describe it as being completely outrageous and appalling and just unbelievable,” Gottfried tells Go Public.

“No matter how I thought about it, I couldn’t really wrap my brain around it,” Hurtig says.

The one-income family says money is tight. Getting the unit would have meant their rent would drop from $1,840 to $895 a month.

“It’s discrimination. We get the room if our children are the same sex and we don’t get the room if our children are not the same sex. It’s very, very clear-cut discrimination,” Gottfried said.

Read the full article over at the CBC.