affordability

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

11 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) The Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governance structure in Canada creates a fun pattern whereby all governments are happy to take credit for good things that happen, but when bad things happen, each tends to point the finger at the others. So we get the spider-Man meme. When it comes to Canada’s housing crisis, pointing Spider-Men are all too common. But sometimes one level of government really is to blame.

Vacancy rates and rent change, 2021 update

The 2021 CMHC Rental Market Survey data finally arrived. Time to do a refresh of our vacancy rate vs rent change analysis. And take a look at where Vancouver is at.

Jens von Bergmann

6 minute read

The new CMHC Rms data is out today, and it’s been three years since we did our post on vacancy rates and rent change. That post still gets a lot of views, so maybe it’s a good time for an update. The Rms survey is carried out in October, and the results used to come out in the following month. Checking the date of our post from three years ago it was written on November 28th reporting on the Rms from October 2018.

Deadbeat zoning

With the new 2021 census data out it's time for some analysis on how Vancouver has grown. For this time we will examine the role of low-density zoning.

Jens von Bergmann

8 minute read

With the first batch of data from the 2021 census we can start to answer some questions about how Vancouver has grown. One of these is how population growth relates to zoning as Gil Meslin reminded me today. It would be very useful to have a custom tabulation available for that, but it will still take a lot of time before 2021 custom tabulations will become available. In the meantime, we can get a pretty good idea how low-density zoning has or has not contributed to Vancouver’s population growth by following a line of analysis like we did back when the 2016 data came out.

No shortage in Housing BS

There is a special brain worm making the rounds that Vancouver supply has been outstripping demand. Which is obvious nonsense, but maybe still deserves a detailed takedown.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

13 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Say you built a bunch of housing in a cornfield in the middle of rural Iowa. Would people come to live in it? Maybe. But probably not. Let’s imagine the same scenario scooted over to Vancouver. The conditions for our little field of dreams have changed. Here we’re pretty comfortable predicting: if you build it, they will come. Housing limits population growth here in a way it does not in rural Iowa.

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.