First Peek at Population and Household Data During COVID & Caveats

A deeper look at population and hosehold estimates, how thes estimates are made and what early data can tell us about shifts during COVID times.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

17 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) In this post we look at the most recent population (and household) estimates to see if we can detect any signals concerning how the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted how (and where) we live. This is inherently tricky; lots of things changed during COVID times, including how well our normal methods of estimation work. That makes time series less reliable, even as we’re especially concerned with how conditions have changed.

Three Years of Speculation & Vacancy Tax Data

We now have three years of SVT data, time to take a look at where things stand, how this fits in with related datasets, and what we can learn.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

11 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TL;DR We now have three years of Speculation and Vacancy Tax data for BC, demonstrating generally less than one percent of properties pay the tax in most municipalities. We play around with the data we scraped from files released by the BC government to show: how the federal CHSP program systematically overstates “foreign ownership” how source of revenue estimates shift depending upon definitions and tax rates how properties are moving into rentals and what else we can glean from exemptions and revenue data.

Acting locally on housing

Housing faces lots of challenges, some of the global. But our policy levers are mostly local, increasing housing supply is the most effective (and ethical) local action we can take.

Nathan Lauster Jens von Bergmann

8 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) It may be a measure of the issue’s importance that in the midst of a major climate disaster (not to mention COVID, breakdowns in reconciliation, and other ongoing crises), the leader of the BC Green Party, Sonia Furstenau, dropped a new op-ed on housing. Timing aside, we see this as promising. As we’ve noted in comparing platforms going into the last election, the BC Greens could use some better planning on housing policy.

CensusMapper (p)review

CensusMapper is six years old now. A review, and a preview where things could be heading.

Jens von Bergmann

13 minute read

We started CensusMapper in 2015, and it’s hard to believe that it’s already six years old. And with the first release of the 2021 census just a few months away it’s a good time for a review. And a preview of what could possibly come in the future. TL;DR CensusMapper has outgrown it’s status as a personal side project and is now widely used by researchers, government officials and staff, non-profit organizations, and the general public.

Fixing parking

Paving the way for removing minimum parking requirements.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

15 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) New parking proposal just dropped! As Vancouver City Council once again discusses parking it seems like a good time to give a brief overview of the trade-offs involved, with special focus on the progressivity of parking permit fees. Vancouver proposed to introduce a city-wide parking permit program, requiring residents to buy a $45/year parking permit to park their vehicles on city streets (reduced to $5 for people with low incomes), or pay a $3 overnight visitor parking fee.