As Vancouver and Seattle engage in discussion about new forms of housing in what were once single-family housing zones, other cities are already deep in the debate or have already taken action.  Like Minneapolis:

From Strong Towns:

Minneapolis just took a huge step toward becoming a stronger city by passing an ambitious new housing reform … allowing every neighborhood to evolve gradually to the next increment of development.

Duplexes and triplexes will now be allowed in every neighborhood citywide, most of which were formerly reserved for nothing but single-family houses.

Debate is happening at the legislative level in Oregon and California, as you might expect, but here’s a place where you wouldn’t: Grand Rapids:

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So far, the opposition has the momentum – to newer, denser development in the region.

The District of North Vancouver Council turning down the Delbrook and Edgemont Village rezonings is the most jaw-dropping.  But similar responses are seen in Port Moody and White Rock.  In Vancouver, it’s unclear.

What will happen when significant development proposals come forward that aim to address the housing crisis?   Willwe then hear this message from councils: ‘No, this is too much, too fast – and, actually, we’re not in so much of a crisis that we can’t take time to rethink and replan.  This could take years.  So in the meantime, we’re not going to approve more projects that are opposed in the community and become controversial.’

Oh look, there’s one now.

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For an example of really good satire (when you can’t be sure it isn’t real), see the current Vancouver Glass*:

“It’s better than a giving a gift card to a restaurant that someone will always forget when they eventually go to that restaurant”

The whole piece with article is here.


* VG is “just one guy who decided to start anonymously running a satire site about Vancouver.”   Too good to remain anonymous.

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Uytae Lee of About Here recently teamed up with The Mix to do a short primer on the insanity that has been Vancouver’s housing market for the past decade-plus.

Consider it a stocking stuffer for the out-of-town urbanist in your life who still hasn’t gotten the full story.

The Mix’s website also includes a complete transcription of the video.

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The following video features new Vancouver city councillor Colleen Hardwick speaking to the amendment, drawn from the “Making Room” housing program — itself an outcome of the staff-driven 10-year Housing Vancouver Strategy — that would allow duplexes across the city.

It’s actually two parts, featuring…

  1. Candidate Hardwick at a public hearing in September, on concerns about the process used to approve the original “duplex motion”; and
  2. Councillor Hardwick addressing the council amendment about a process, proposed in November, to facilitate the rescinding of the motion.

(Hint: The first part is not like the second part.)

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We at Price Tags are having a great time with our new podcast, PriceTalks.  So we appreciate the opportunity to be invited to other podcasts that are exploring our city and its issues – like that time on Cambie Reports with Sandy James, Gord Price and the three Cambie Reporters.

When Adam and Matt Scalena asked Gord to appear on their Vancouver Real Estate News podcast, the answer was an immediate yes.  The results have just been posted:

Vancouver Price Tags with Gordon Price

Has 2018 been a good year for Vancouver? The time to take stock is now. Former City Councillor & Founder of the influential “Price Tags” website Gordon Price sits down with Adam & Matt to discuss the present, the past, and the future of Vancouver in one of the most wide-reaching conversations to date. Tune in to hear Gordon’s take on all things Vancouver, including his unique insider account of local politics, why building permits ought to take as long as they do, and his surprising predictions for the next neighborhoods set for redevelopment. Oh, yeah, and we also cover the coming apocalypse.  This is not to be missed!


One of the great features of their blog is the Episode Summary – a detailed encapsulation of the conversation.  Though it must take a lot of time to do, it’s a great way to get a sense of the content before tuning in, or to find a particular topic right away.  Great work, guys.

(As per the post below, Gordon guarantees that the Price is not always right.)  Click here for podcast.

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Bob Ransford posted this:

When the Canada Line was being planned more than 15 years ago, the public was shown ridership models that said 70 percent of the ridership would be in the portion of the corridor between Waterfront Station and Oakridge Station.

Reality today is crush loads during rush hour from Richmond Brighouse all the way to Waterfront with lines at many Vancouver stations where crush-filled trains can’t accept more riders and near full loads at all hours just within Richmond alone. They got it wrong.

Transit drives housing development. So much for empty condos. Empty condos don’t drive this kind of heavy ridership.

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Housing issues are a real concern for young people trying to work in Vancouver and attempting to find a place to live that does not eat up everything they earn. But there is the other side of the population cohort experiencing similar pressures, seniors who are retired and on fixed income with housing that because of the real estate market is often insecure and unstable.

Dan Fumano touches on this in his article on the Grey Tsunami and the challenges seniors have when being asked to leave rental accommodations they have lived in sometimes for decades. Duke of Data and Simon Fraser University Director of the City Program Andy Yan observes that renters in Vancouver that are seniors “are more likely than younger renters to face what Statistics Canada calls “core housing need.

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