(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Almost everyone agrees that we have a housing crisis in Canada, and that it has gotten progressively worse over recent history. But there is a problem. The metrics most commonly used don’t reflect that. TL;DR Most commonly used metrics use existing households as the base of analysis, but households are a consequence of housing pressures. This kind of misspecification is a form of collider or selection bias that, especially in tight housing markets, misleads researchers toward faulty conclusions and policy recommendations.
(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Municipalities in BC are required to submit Housing Needs reports, and integrate these into Official Community Plans and Regional Growth Strategies in something resembling housing targets. The BC Housing Supply Act now sharpens this process and adds some teeth, effectively enabling the province to define housing targets, accompanied by new provincial enforcement mechanisms, where the province selects municipalities not meeting housing need. Left unstated are the details of precisely how we should go about calculating housing needs or housing targets.
(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) In a previous post we looked at the history of planning regimes in the City of Vancouver. Similar shifts happened in other municipalities in the region, and they also fit into a broader shift in planning at the regional level. Regional level planning is less concerned with zoning and the regulations that govern housing production, and more with coordinating services and the broader guiding principles applying to municipal policies.
(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) With last week’s CHSP release of data on the investment status of residential properties and the framing of the accompanying article there has been a lot of rather uninformed and misleading news coverage. The misleading reporting, combined with sometimes plainly wrong statements by people quoted in the news coverage, on one hand highlights the poor understanding of housing in the public discourse. On the other hand it highlights the importance of providing careful framing with data releases.
(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Say you want to construct some multi-family housing in Vancouver. How long will it take? The answer is simple: it depends. There are many factors upon which it depends. Here we want to highlight one in particular: when you started. As it turns out, it used to take a lot less time to build multi-family housing. There is reason to believe we could reduce that time again, but getting there involves gathering a better understanding of our current development regime, and placing it in historical perspective.