Kabloona pointed out this article about a vacant zombie neighborhood in West Van.
Nobody’s home except dust bunnies and racoons
In one of Canada’s most expensive neighbourhoods, in hilly West Vancouver, sits a row of seemingly abandoned mansions.
Not a single person can be found on the upper north side of Highview Place on a weekday midafternoon.
Read the full article here.
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.
Bubble tea pointed out that back in March a study claimed that 10,800 homes were empty for more than a year in 2014.
They reached this conclusion by studying electricity usage, if it remained flat for 25 days the home was deemed to be vacant.
Of course many of these homes could have been occupied by paleo-humans who eschew electricity in favor of a simpler lifestyle. How many condos in Kerrisdale are filled with families huddled under blanket, burning their own waste to keep warm?
The majority of the empty homes in 2014 were apartments — 9,747 — and vacancy rates were highest on the West Side of the city, with 9.4 per cent in the area that stretches from Kitsilano to Point Grey and 8.6 per cent in neighbourhoods that include Kerrisdale, Dunbar and Southlands.
Suggested reasons for the vacancies included a home was bought for investment, was under renovation, the owners were on vacation, the home was caught up in an estate sell-off, or it was being flipped. A home was deemed empty in a given month if the hydro data showed a flat consistent use of electricity for 25 or more days in that month for a year. The findings were not specific to neighbourhoods but separated into five large geographic areas. Basement suites were not included in the study.
Are 10,800 empty homes a negative thing for a city, and If you had unlimited power what would you do to change this situation? Would you opt for incentives for owners to rent out empty homes or a some sort of system to try to prevent them from remaining empty?
Those of you who complain about the local real estate market should calm down and take a moment to reflect on the benefits of the current situation.
Without financial support from real estate developers how would the provincial government be able to provide necessities like salary top-ups for the premiere?
Without fundraising by condo marketers it would be you the taxpayer that would have to pay for that extra $300k given to the premiere since 2011.
And if you’re concerned about conflicts of interest, don’t be! The premiere herself has addressed this issue:
‘The issue for us is to make sure we always separate our public duties from any sources of funding for political parties, and I think that’s the most important thing for all of us to remember,” Clark has reportedly said in defense of the stipend. ”I always keep that utmost in my mind when we’re making decisions.”
If you want to read David Ebys concerns about the current situation, you can find them over at the Tyee but just remember, he’s likely motivated by sour grapes or jealousy. After all, Eby has been stuck with the MLA responsibilities for Vancouver Point Grey for the last few years while Clark gets to enjoy Kelowna.
‘Microlofts’ aren’t a new thing, but they seem to be getting smaller.
Enter the ‘Nanosuite’.
UBC has announced they will will be building 140 square foot apartments for student housing.
That’s still bigger than living in a van, but not everyone seems enchanted with the idea.
Reaction was mixed.
“I think they’re pretty cool,” said international economics student Raj Singh, 19.
“They have many things that you might not get in campus residences, for example a private washroom. But I’m like a really messy person, so if I were to move in there, it would be a disaster.”
“They’re very small,” said economics student Chun Lok Tse, 18.
“It’s kind of strange to not have a table and a bed at the same time. I’ve seen the prices online, $675 a month. For not a lot more you can get a better room, which shares a kitchen with three other people. I’d much prefer those to these.”
His friend Kennedee Fung agreed.
“Where I’m from in Asia, houses are famous for being small,” she said.
“And this is even smaller than the ones we usually live in. So it’s kind of ridiculous.
“I really don’t like the idea that you have to pull down your bed every time you want to work or sleep, I think that is quite a hassle. Also there isn’t much storage space.
“Although you have a kitchen and a bathroom, as an international student, you have suitcases, and you wouldn’t know where to put them.”
Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.