Sutton Showplace Realty (2015) Chilliwack


Housing, housing, housing. Does anything else matter this election?

03 August 2018
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

The last full week of council decisions across the Lower Mainland before the August break brought with it political debates on a wide variety of … nah, it was mostly just housing.

In the District of North Vancouver, there's now a referendum question asking whether it should spend up to $150 million to create up to 1,000 units of non-market housing in the next decade.

In Burnaby, the city is suddenly pushing staff to develop bylaws for rental-only zoning, less than 10 days after one of its councillors said "it's going to take some time" to get moving.

In Vancouver, city council declared (through a last minute amendment to a motion), that a tower next to BC Place would have to be 100 per cent market rental if the developer applied for it to be higher than 300 feet.

What's the common denominator? Well, part of it is local councillors and mayors showing voters they're responsive to the housing crisis and deserve to be entrusted with another term in office.

Four years ago, the benchmark price of a Lower Mainland property was $561,400, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Now it's $1,006,600.

Secondly, it's a continuation of the never-ending feedback loop we seem to be in: new stats come in about the price of homes, voters get angry and demand answers, politicians come up with solutions, media covers them … and then a whole new whack of stats come in, and we start the cycle again.

There are municipalities where this isn't always the case (transportation and crime are shaping up as greater wedge issues in Surrey for instance), but there are seven candidates running to be mayor of Vancouver, and until we emailed all of them this week, only one of them had made any public comments on bike lanes.

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