Category Archives: renting

Politicians want to solve Vancouver housing problems

Good news!

If you’ve got an idea of how to make housing more affordable in Vancouver, city officials say they’re all ears.

“I think we’re almost at the desperation stage,” said Randy Pecarski, the City of Vancouver’s deputy director of planning. “People are on the verge of leaving the city because they can’t find a place to stay.”

First step: another survey to improve housing affordability over the next ten years.

Read the full article over at the CBC.

NDP proposes $400 rental grant

The NDP is promising to implement a $400 rental grant if elected.  This grant would be applicable to all rentals and would have the side effect of pretty much putting an end to rental income tax evasion.

Christy Clark is disturbed by the idea of money going to “wealthy renters”

“That isn’t right,” Clark said. “We shouldn’t be redistributing our tax money to the very rich. We should be making sure that we spend our resources supporting people who are having trouble staying in their homes.”

The NDP also pledges to close a fixed term lease rent loophole that lets some landlords raise rents higher than otherwise allowed.

Read the full article here.

West Van population slip sliding away.

According to BC Statistics the community of West Van is seeing a steady population decline.

According to a B.C. Statistics report, the population in West Vancouver dropped by 2.1 per cent between 2015 and 2016 with just under 41,000 people now calling that community home.

The downturn in West Vancouver is the largest year-over-year decline of any B.C. municipality with at least 15,000 residents. West Vancouver has been in a slow and steady decline since 2011, which doesn’t follow the current trend of most municipalities across the province that have seen a steady increase in their populations.

So whats driving the decline? Housing prices? Aging Population? Lack of Bars and Restaurants? Lack of rentals? The mayor is concerned about all those factors.

“So we need more rental accommodation so when our young people are graduating and want to stay in West Van, have a place to rent.”

The business community, Smith says, is also suffering from the lack of vibrancy.

“We don’t have the bars and restaurants to create any vibrancy in the community. It’s a very serious situation,” Smith explained.

Read the full article at Globalnews.

How do you tax an empty home?

The city of Vancouver has floated the idea of an ’empty home tax’ to help encourage the availability of rental supply.  Today is the last day they will take feedback online for this idea.

If you have ideas for or against an empty home tax now is the time to have your input. What should be taxed and what should be exempt?

Best Place on Meth points out a rather obvious loophole and asks how it would be dealt with. Will there be baseline expectations for what is or isn’t market rent?

What’s to stop these owners from listing it for rent at some outrageous price that nobody will pay and then claiming they did try to rent it out?

What do you think – is the idea of an empty home tax a good or bad approach to Vancouvers housing problems?

Housing Action Rally Saturday Sept 17th 2pm

 

Housing Action for Local Taxpayers (HALT) is a group of Vancouverites whose goal is to pressure government to take action on local housing affordability.

HALT wrote in to let everyone at VCI know they are holding a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery this Saturday Sept 17th at 2pm.

They have a  great line up of speakers including Christine Duhaime the Vancouver lawyer focused money laundering.

More information can be found on their Facebook page.

Here’s some info from their comment yesterday:

Specifically we are calling on Government to:
– HALT money laundering and tax fraud by individuals hiding their money in our housing market
– HALT Immigrant Investor Programs that bring in owners who do not contribute to our income tax base
– HALT corporate donations to political parties. For too long, our governments have served moneyed interests and not the interests of the citizens of our city and our province
– HALT AirBnB of our rental stock. We need regulations in place to protect our renters
– HALT demolitions of affordable rentals that are being replaced by unaffordable luxury condos marketed to offshore buyers

We’ve got a great panel of speakers lined up including:
– Christine Duhaime, a lawyer heavily involved in catching foreign money launderers in Vancouver
– Josh Gordon, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University, who has done extensive research on the impact of foreign capital on our housing market
– Dr. Darren Joneson, whose housing story we featured on our Facebook page
– Caroline Adderson, author of the book “Vancouver Vanishes” owner of FB community of the same name, will talk about demolitions of heritage homes, zoning and how we create density in a liveable, sustainable city
– Paul Kershaw, founder of Generation Squeeze, who will talk about the the challenges millenials face in getting into the housing market and Gen Squeeze’s “Homes First” policy.

Please come out, stand up, be counted, and let our government officials know that enough is enough!

Thanks for your support,
The HALT Team

You can find more info on their Facebook page and at haltvancouver.org.