This Week in Housing News: Mayoral Powers and London’s Housing Boom

Big Cities, Small MayorsBig Cities, Small Mayors

Despite being the country’s major centres of population and economic activities, the Mayors of Canada’s largest cities face challenges with their limited authority in relation to other levels of government.  Their lack of power has meant that in some cases, cities like Vancouver and Calgary are unable to cope with their growing needs.  (The National)


Housing Affordability: Is the Real Issue Our Expectations?

Shelley Fralic explores the idea of affordable home ownership in the Lower Mainland by questioning the paradigm that families have to buy single-family homes.  While that may have been an achievable dream for the Baby Boomer generation,  young families may have to look instead to condominiums for home ownership.  (The Vancouver Sun)


Vancouver’s House Price Crunch: Campaign Pledges and Pitfalls

With election rhetoric ramping up before November 15th, the Tyee has examined what degree of control the municipal government actually has over affordable housing.  SCARP Adjunct Professor Andy Yan reports that the Provincial government has much greater control over housing, while the city lacks information on the number of empty housing units in the city.  Other topics covered include the role of City Council in tweaking development proposals,  Vision Vancouver’s rental unit goals, social housing, and the possibility of implementing a Whistler-style housing authority in Vancouver.  (The Tyee)


Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 1.47.59 AM London’s Housing Boom

Reni Eddo-Lodge reports on the phenomenon of sky-rocketing housing prices in London.  Sites like Stratford, the East London site of the Olympics, the average rent is half the local average income.  The appearance of modern new buildings reflect a narrative familiar to Vancouverites: the ideal of home ownership is one that is slipping out of reach for many young people.  (The New York Times)


Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 1.47.28 AMThe State of Homelessness in Canada 2014 Report Released

The 2014 State of Homelessness in Canada report has been released.  The research summarizes efforts from the past year to relieve homelessness, provides an assessment of current needs, and highlights affordable housing as a way to move forward on eliminating homelessness.  (State of Homelessness in Canada)