Housing & homelessness

Searching for affordable housing in the 2017 BC election platforms

Apr 24, 2017
Housing affordability is one of the top issues for voters in the 2017 election campaign, particularly for those in pricey Metro Vancouver. While most of the media attention has been on the jaw-dropping prices of residential real estate, a tight rental market has fuelled rising rents and renovictions, and the most recent count uncovered a… View Article

Affordable housing and jobs: Now is the time to build

Mar 16, 2017
The BC government is spending millions on advertising to promote its actions on affordable housing. In Metro Vancouver, however, where the crisis is most acute, there is no sign that housing is going to be within reach of ordinary middle-class households any time soon. .@MarcLeeCCPA takes a look at how BC can build the affordable… View Article

Taking stock of BC’s new (affordable?) housing policies

Jan 11, 2017
In 2016, the BC government set out several new actions intended to address housing affordability. But as 2017 begins, Metro Vancouver continues to have a massive problem – in both home ownership affordability and rental markets. This threatens to undermine the region’s long-term prosperity by driving out young people and making it harder to attract… View Article

Four planks for a bold and progressive BC jobs agenda

Nov 17, 2016
BC needs a revitalized jobs plan. The provincial government’s narrow focus on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) hasn’t worked. The government hitched BC’s economic wagon to the elusive investment decisions of foreign transnational corporations, and to the ups and downs of international commodity prices, and the hoped-for investment simply didn’t materialize. And for all the talk… View Article

The case for a progressive property tax

Nov 2, 2016
In 1993, then-Finance Minister Glen Clark tabled a controversial BC Budget, featuring a wide range of tax changes. A one-point increase in the provincial sales tax was the largest measure, tempered by the introduction of a refundable sales tax credit. Most of the budget measures increased taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Up went the… View Article

Rising housing prices fuel the growing gap

Sep 19, 2016
Vancouver is now a “city of millionaires”, according to Environics’ 2016 Wealthscapes report: In B.C., the red-hot real estate market fueled a rise in average net worth, producing Canada’s first “city of millionaires”: Vancouver. In 2015, the average net worth of Vancouver households hit $1,036,202 – an impressive 7.1 percent increase over the previous year. You are forgiven if… View Article

The BC economy’s unbalanced and inequitable growth

Jul 22, 2016
Skyrocketing property transfer tax revenues have been in the news the past few days, but the bigger story, well-documented in a recent Huffington Post article, is how dependent the entire BC economy is on the unsustainable and socially damaging housing market. It is instructive to reread the 2012 BC Jobs Plan to see how far… View Article

Affordable housing and its discontents

May 19, 2016
The public and media response to my new study on affordable housing  exceeded expectations. I anticipated some really strong pushback against my proposals, because they’re pretty radical in today’s context where private sector development is taken for granted, and global capital flows into local real estate go largely unquestioned. By and large, the report was covered… View Article