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.

Elections fun - 2021 edition

Playing with Canadian 2021 federal elections data.

Jens von Bergmann

5 minute read

We noticed a lot of recent traffic to our blog post on the 2019 elections, so maybe that means that, now that all districts have been called, we should update the post with 2021 data. We will just lazily run the code from the old post with the new data. And given that the outcome was overall quite similar, we can also leave the text/commentary largely unchanged. Which makes life nice and easy for us.