“Nearly every day since I became mayor, I’ve heard from family after family and business owner after business owner about how the high cost of living impacts their lives.
One day, it might be a young couple whose second child is on the way, and who’ve decided it’s time to buy a home. And they’ve come to the conclusion they simply can’t do it in Vancouver’s housing market, and they’re planning to move to the Fraser Valley.
The next day it might be a senior, someone who can tell me the names of the families who’ve lived on their block going back half a century … but with a fixed income he just can’t afford to stay in his neighbourhood.
I’ve spoken to people in deep distress because they hold down three jobs and it’s still not enough to make rent. I’ve talked to owners of major companies who can’t fill positions because their workforce is leaving the city for somewhere more affordable.
And I lost count a long time ago of the number of people who just laugh off the idea of ever owning a home here.
The lack of affordability imposes a burden on everyone. When mortgage and rental costs eat up the discretionary income of a large swath of our population, it depresses spending in the local economy. When our communities start losing young families and seniors on fixed incomes, we lose vitality and a sense of generational continuity.”
- from ‘Unaffordable housing is damaging Vancouver’s community fibre’, by Mayor Gregor Robertson, Vancouver Sun, 8 Oct 2012
Interesting that anyone is capable of writing anything at all about Vancouver housing without mentioning the pachyderm squatting on the coffee table: the speculative mania, the bubble, preposterously overvalued homes; whatever you want to call it. Homes are overpriced by a factor of two or three.
Let’s wait and see what happens to affordability once home prices drop to the vague vicinity of those determined by economic fundamentals. There will still be challenges, but they’ll be very different from the ones that people are pretending to try to solve now.