From Michael Alexander:

First sunny day above freezing, and the newish playground next to Science World is packed as usual, with long lines for every ride including the zip line.

If the city charged $1 a kid (“C’mon Mom, it’s only a loonie!), in a year we could build enough affordable housing to meet demand*.



* Ed – First rule of affordable housing: demand is never met.



  1. Unclear if this blog post was a sarcastic suggestion ?

    How about charging more for parking? Only ~$20/month in the west end ? Seems a factor 10 to 20 too low given west end land prices. Ditto all over Vancouver’s side street. Want a resident parking sticker? Why not sell it by the block, for $4000-5000 a year, like Zurich, Switzerland does.

    The best approach for more rental is forced rental zoning into each condo project, say 1/3 into every new building over 6 units. That means that CACs would have to far lower and that market condo prices would go up – maybe 7-10%.

    We would further necessitate that of these rental units 50% are sub-market at say 50% of market rents ie income tested.

    Since these rental-only units are tough to sell they get legally attached to a market condo. This means every other market condo is physically two units, one to live in and one that has to be rented. I live in such a building at UBC and it works quite well. A market condo at say $1.5M might be $2.0M with a market rental unit and $1.7M with a sub-market affordable rental unit. Happy to write more about this concept if folks are interested. The market has failed to provide enough rental units so with reduced CACs and coercion of it it can be done, as UBC has shown. Both the city and the market have to participate to get far FAR more rentals into the Vancouver housing market.

    1. Zoning by definition is “coercion”. Why not ? It’s the right thing to do as we need far FAR more rentals all over the place.

      1. I agree this is the right approach. A recently approved tall building at the north end of Granville was approved that was an excellent example, sorry forgot the name and address. The top floors are market condos where the developer makes a big profit. Those profits fund the lower floors that are literally given to the city for any purpose. If this was done on a much larger scale it would substantially reduce the average rent in Vancouver.

        If the city gets more revenues IE higher parking fees, permits or higher taxes elsewhere then those funds can be used to increase the percentage of given properties away to the city vs market condo in each new building.

        The solutions exist we just need political will.

  2. would “owner only” zoning work as a tool? get rid of a good chunk of the investor class thus reducing demand. pair it up with additional restrictions on letting the place sit empty.

    1. Not quite as the NDP just recently removed the restriction of many condo boards to disallow rentals. I think we ought to let the owner decide what to do with his/her unit: leave empty, rent out or live in it.

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