This Week in Housing News: Vancouver’s Affordability & UBC Rent Hikes

Vancouver must reprioritize housing for the homeless, experts say

What is the best way to end homelessness?  Homelessness experts Tim Richter and Judy Graves say it isn’t merely a case of opening more social housing spaces.  Rather, government authorities must prioritize based on need.  People may be homeless for different reasons, from the chronically homeless to low-income individuals who can move out of homelessness on their own.  (The Globe & Mail)


Student residence costs to increase by 20 per cent in 2015

UBC has announced plans to raise the rent of eight-month housing contracts by 20%, claiming that the increases are necessary to match market rates of housing.  The increases were introduced without student consultation  (The Uvyssey)  UBC students held a rally to protest the increase in rent, as well as a proposed increase in tuition fees.  (Global News)


Gregor Robertson speculates on speculators’ tax

Mayor Gregor Robertson has held off on taking a firm position on an absentee home-owners tax, like the one Meena Wong of COPE has proposed.  Both he and NPA candidate Kirk Lapointe have said that they are awaiting further research on absentee rates before making a decision on the matter.  (The Vancouver Courier)  Soaring prices due to speculation have also been a problem in San Francisco.  Author Mike Howell references a New York Times article in which Eric Mar states, “This is about stopping the crazy, insane housing crisis and rent increases in our city, and making sure we protect neighbourhoods that are being changed before our eyes every day. It won’t stop the flipping or the speculation, but it will be a strong message that displacement is wrong and we will fight for our communities.”  (The New York Times)


Only 3% of Vancouver residents think they have reasonable rents or mortgages: poll

High housing costs in Vancouver have made the city unaffordable for many residents.  A poll by the Vancouver sun reveals that many believe that their mortgages and rents are unreasonable.  The article also includes an interactive map of neighbourhood affordability in Metro Vancouver.  A second article reveals that 75% of neighbourhoods are too expensive for the incomes of its residents.  (The Vancouver Sun & The Vancouver Sun)  For more information on what each municpal party intends to do to tackle affordability in Vancouver, be sure to attend the Affordable Vancouver? debate hosted by the Housing Justice Project on October 23.  RSVP here.