How to make housing more affordable

By May 6, 2017November 23rd, 2018No Comments

We are very lucky that many people from other jurisdictions want to move here. That is why there is building boom right now which is creating so much employment. We don’t want to kill this golden goose by keeping out foreign buyers but we want new housing to be affordable

….. so did you know that 95% of the land in BC is “crown land” (i.e. owned by the government)? Of the remaining 5% of the land, half of it is stuck in something called the “Agriculture Land Reserve” which means it can’t be used for housing even when that land is close to the city and doesn’t earn farmers a good living. Of the remaining 2.5% of the land in BC, most is zoned by our municipalities which means that it is kept as single family housing which only millionaires can afford.

We need to make zoning more flexible. When many people live in a high rise, they can share the price of the land making it more affordable to each resident. When there is pressure on land, as there is in Vancouver right now, we want to make it easier for the builder of a high rise to compensate nearby residents who feel a loss of pleasure from having a high-rise in their neighborhood. Under current rules, you get no compensation and this just creates lots of destructive NIMBYism. And it causes local corruptions since builders have to spend lots of money to persuade city councils to let them build what they think they can sell.

We also think that under current rules, new buildings are over-charged on their “development costs” . Because of these charges, builders have diverted too much to luxury buildings (i.e. those willing to pay these high development charges).