Friday, October 31, 2008

The Real Housing Solution

BC Fed President Jim Sinclair has hit a few nails on the head in his op-ed column in the Sun today.

In particular, he says, "Institute a massive public works program to build supportive housing for the homeless and affordable housing for thousands of others."

This is finally the only way that we will address homelessness and affordable housing.

All the posturing in the world by civic and municipal leaders will come to naught.

It will take the senior governments to step up and actually start the real work and building housing.

Plain and simple.

But do Campbell and Harper look like the men possessed of that kind of vision and courage?


keith said...

to make housing affordable, the government should ban condominiums, or at the very least, zone land for rentals apartments only.
By banning condos, the price of land would fall to a level where it becomes affordable to build rental apartments.
It's just that simple.

Anonymous said...

Although I agree with Jim Sinclair on having a public works program that actually benefits the public in the form of affordable housing - I also agree with keith in his statement that condominiums are contributing to the lack of affordable housing.

Years ago (around 1981 I think), my grandfather was renting a one bedroom apartment in the West End. He got a letter informing him that the rental apartment was converting to condos. He did not have the $80,000+ (this is 1981 remember) and he had to move to a subsidized seniors housing complex in Burnaby. I do not know how younger renters in his building fared.

When I owned my apartment downtown, there was a strata by-law that stated that rentals were not allowed. Even in my relatively affordable, mostly working class building, there were a few empty suites owned by wealthier out-of-town people who used the suite as a pied de terre.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of empty condos used for this purpose in downtown. They are as small as a 400 sq foot studio suite to those massive units in Coal Harbour.

Even if there was not an all-out-ban on condo's, there could be a ban of EMPTY CONDOS. If someone has a condo that they rent out (and declare the rental income on their taxes) - that's well and good. If they choose to leave the suite empty - then they should be charged such a tax that it would make their head spin and think twice of owning property to let it sit empty.

This might increase available rental units and, at the same time, lower the inflated price of condos by preventing people to buy on speculation and buying just for a convenient stop over in Vancouver.

Linda Yuill