Increased Density Features Prominently In COV Affordable Housing Contest – “It brings down the cost of housing through sub-division and shared equity.”

The City of Vancouver recognized thirteen entries from a competition launched in May.
The designs set out a variety of plans to increase density while dropping real estate prices, from building long houses in lanes to constructing bridges of housing atop existing buildings.


Christina DeMarco’s Thin Streets concept, which pitches narrowing streets and adding row units, took home an award.
“I came up with the idea by cycling to work across the city every day and I realized there was a lot of under-used road space in the city,” she said. “There’s still enough room for a sidewalk, a road, and street trees.”


“UBC student Andrew Neuman won an award for his shared equity concept, which divides properties and adds housing where residents would buy shares in co-ownership.
Neuman says it could reduce the price of a dwelling on a $1-million lot to as little as $100,000.
“So it brings down the cost of housing through sub-division and shared equity.”
Neuman said the issue of affordability in Vancouver hits close to home.
“Unless something like this sorta comes about, I will not be able to afford to live here,” he said.
“I’ve been an architect student … my wife is a teacher. We have three kids and on those salaries alone, based on … the cost of housing in the neighbourhoods that we’re currently living in, in a small basement, we won’t ever be able to afford to buy anything like that or move up in that way.”


– from ‘Vancouver eyes new affordable housing ideas’, CBC, 31 Jul 2012
[hat-tip Jeff Murdock]


Let’s not forget that we’re still near the peak of a speculative mania in housing prices, and that most current ‘increase density’ plans also have the effect of maintaining the high relative cost of housing; they amount to “pay a bit less; get a lot less” plans.
– vreaa

16 responses to “Increased Density Features Prominently In COV Affordable Housing Contest – “It brings down the cost of housing through sub-division and shared equity.”

  1. Spot on VREAA. The biggest affects on housing prices are those caused by government changes.

    See my thread on RETALKs. Please ignore the troll geezer who has no interest in discussing real estate.

    http://www.realestatetalks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=121400

    All that will happen is that they will subdivide or adjust and the market will reprice based on that capacity. Want to change that, look to national affordability issues.

  2. I really should have submitted my “do everything to lower land prices” proposal but I doubt it would have won. It would have been a little too big perhaps.

    I liked the cubes

  3. “pay a bit less; get a lot less”

    Pretty much my reaction when people point out that I _could_ afford a condo if I wanted to.

  4. ‘My’ entry to the competition would have been along the lines of “Educate the population regarding speculative manias; Pop the bubble; Halve housing prices in Vancouver.”

    • Your idea is better than any of the official entries. But the city can’t make any money from it, that’s why they went with “build houses in the street”. It also allows them to perpetuate the myth that we’ve run out of land.

  5. Coincidentally the project most attractive for the big RE developers (OMNI etc) won, the one that allows them to build denser with the use of less land. Concrete jungle it is called…

    • Funny you should say that, Olga62… ‘Cuz, ‘shortly’ after you construct a “ConcreteJungle” you invariably end up with a…

      [NoteToEd: … not long after I was voluntarily ‘decommissioned’ from… well… something else, my OverLords surreptiously transplanted me to: http://tinyurl.com/nmnhnx ; Wonderful SuperHead, great, if challenged, kids. Still miss ’em. My prior instruction, like Glenn’s, would prove useful on more than one occasion. Not surprisingly, there was more substance abuse in the StaffLounge than there was behind the ‘BikeShed’. PS, I’m not actually giving away much, DearReaders – so Many were those who toiled in the ‘trenches’ of Eltham’s EasternFront ]

  6. My entry would have been for the goverment to stop insuring fresh mortgages, would instantly halve the housing prices.

  7. ““UBC student Andrew Neuman won an award for his shared equity concept, which divides properties and adds housing where residents would buy shares in co-ownership.”

    This concept is flawed as with the ideas of increasing amortization and lowering interest rate. It assumes housing price is static and doesn’t respond to changes.

  8. What about moving, Andrew? Did you think about moving? Because even if you work it out somehow, how the hell are your kids supposed to succeed in the Vancouver feudalist model?

  9. Taipan wrote:
    Please ignore the troll Geyser who has no interest in discussing real estate.

    This is the specific thread which Taipan would prefer you don’t read. You be the judge.

    http://www.realestatetalks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=115334&start=105

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