Category Archives: supply

The BC Housing Mandate

New government, new housing mandate.

In your role as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing I expect that you will make substantive progress on the following priorities:

  •   Partner with local governments and First Nations to develop a community capital infrastructure fund to upgrade and build sports facilities, playgrounds, local community centres, and arts and culture spaces.
  •   Through partnerships with local governments, the federal govenrment, and the private and not-for- profit sectors, begin to build 114,000 units of affordable market rental, non-profit,
    co-op, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing.
  •   Create new student housing by removing unnecessary rules that prevent universities and colleges from building affordable student housing.
  •   Amend the Residential Tenancy Act to provide stronger protections for renters, and provide additional resources to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
  •   With the Minister of Finance, deliver an annual renter’s rebate of $400 dollars per rental household to improve rental affordability.
  •   Work in partnership to develop a homelessness action plan to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services. As part of the plan, conduct a province-wide homelessness count.
  •   Work with the Minister of Finance to address speculation, tax fraud and money laundering in the housing market.
  •   As the Minister responsible for TransLink, support the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation by funding 40%of the capital costs of every phase of the plan, in partnership with all levels of government.

We suspect many people reading here are disappointed that Eby isn’t the housing minister and are curious to see how that second to last point turns out. You can read the full letter here.

Canada has 2x more vacant homes than the US before the crash

southseacompany posted this link claiming we’ve now reached double the number of vacant homes the US had before their housing bubble burst:

Home vacancies are often a sign of overbuilding, and speculation. At the height of the US housing crisis in 2008, a massive 2.9% of all homes were sitting vacant. This made it hard for home prices to retain their value during the downturn, since the vacant units began flooding the market on the way down. But that was the US, and this is Canada – we don’t have that number of units sitting vacant, right? Actually, Canada has more than twice that number.

Read the full article here.

Secrets of the Real Estate industry

These may not actually count as ‘secrets’, but over at the Tyee they have a list of 9 things the real estate industry doesn’t want you to know:

You’ve heard it a million times. The reason so few of us can afford Vancouver is because there aren’t enough new homes being built. This is the version of reality that real estate industry leaders and their political allies want us to believe.

But an investigation of the industry by The Tyee has revealed reality to be much more complex. Over the past six months I spoke at length with financial analysts, economists, industry consultants, realtors and many others to learn the true causes of Vancouver’s housing crisis and who is profiting from it. They were in broad agreement that real estate is at the centre of a massive realignment between our society’s rich and poor — and one that few leaders in the industry seem willing to publicly acknowledge.

About half of the items on their list have to do with the class divide and the disappearing middle class.

Read the full article here.

NDP to review BC first time buyer loans program

The recent BC first time buyer loans program announced by the liberal government has successfully driven condo prices higher by handing out interest free loans from tax payers to first time buyers, but it sounds like David Eby and the NDP want to ruin that party:

“We were told by economists at SFU, UBC, CMHC that the impact of the program would be to increase the cost of the housing stock,” says Eby.

“Essentially a transfer of money directly to developers and people selling their existing homes, and put people further into debt. So if that is truly the impact of the program in Metro Vancouver, then that’s something we want to review and make sure there’s not a better way we could allocate the $700-million that’s been allocated to that program.”

Read the full article over at News 1130.