Housing & homelessness

Big ideas on the supply side of housing affordability

Jul 14, 2021
The final report of the Canada-British Columbia Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability, published in June 2021, contains 23 recommendations made primarily to the BC and federal governments. The Panel organized these under five broad calls to action:    Creating a planning framework that proactively encourages housing;   Reforming fees on… View Article

BC Budget 2021: Stay-the-course budget misses the mark on key areas of urgency outside health

Apr 20, 2021
The BC government tabled a surprisingly stay-the-course budget today, making some improvements on the margins but missing the opportunity to shift BC towards a more inclusive and sustainable economy. While it appropriately includes large sums of time-limited spending relating to the pandemic (and indeed BC has led other provinces on pandemic spending), it is scarce… View Article

How to build affordable rental housing in Vancouver

Mar 16, 2021
We are often told that building affordable housing is just too expensive: land prices are too high, construction costs are rising, development fees and labyrinthine bureaucratic processes are stifling projects. There is some truth in each of these explanations, but to really get a major build-out of affordable housing we need to stop relying on… View Article

Vacancy control: taking the next step on housing affordability

Feb 11, 2021
Recently, two Ontario-based Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) purchased 15 Vancouver apartment buildings for $292 million from Hollyburn Properties. Tenants in those buildings, totaling 614 units, now face a massively elevated risk of being evicted by absentee landlords so that higher rents can be charged to new tenants.  Tenants should be concerned because of a… View Article

Vancouver’s Secured Rental Policy and the battle over density

Sep 28, 2020
In North American cities with growing populations and economies, a similar political story on housing affordability is playing out. Calls to permit more dense housing supply—also known as upzoning or changes to land use regulations to allow multi-unit buildings on “single-family” detached lots—pit older, wealthier homeowners against younger, less affluent, renters who feel shut out… View Article

Dismantling tent cities—why choice matters

Apr 28, 2020
On April 25, 2020 the BC government announced a plan to evacuate tent city communities in Vancouver and Victoria and place residents in temporary accommodations.[2] There have been many calls from community urging the government to recognize that people experiencing homelessness are disproportionately vulnerable to COVID-19 and other health and human rights issues. We commend… View Article