Metro Vancouver is growing, both in terms of population and jobs. That means the number of people commuting to work is growing and putting a strain on our transportation system. The nature of that strain depends to a large extent on how people are getting to and from work. The Canadian census started collecting data on how people get to work in 1996, which allows us to see how commuters and commute choice have changed over time.
Following up on our previous post on rents and vacancy rates there is another rental stat originating from City of Vancouver documents that is making the rounds and that is misleading. Again, our housing crisis is fundamentally a rental crisis, so it’s important to keep the numbers straight so that we can better focus our energy and resources. This one is a bit more serious, but still has been making the rounds quite broadly on social media.
Canada’s metropolitan areas are growing, which means we need to add housing. But adding housing often faces stiff oppositions. There are many reasons people don’t like to add housing, this post is trying to look at one particular one. That adding housing causes displacement of the low-income population. Adding new housing to a neighbourhood has two opposing effects. The gentrification effect starts from the observation that new housing is more expensive than old housing (all else being equal).
(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) A spectre haunts housing policy. The spectre of empty homes. So how many empty homes are out there? Unfortunately, inept analyses of census data often leaves us with incomplete, or even worse, completely wrong answers to this question. When we get data on empty homes for a given city, they’re seldom put into comparative perspective. What’s worse, sometimes when they’re put into comparative perspective, they’re compared with the wrong data and picked up by credulous media, spreading misinformation.
The City of Vancouver has introduced the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Project, with density bonusing in exchange for 20% of the units renting at about 35% below market. TL;DR MIRHPP is a win-win, it manages to create both, new units that rent significantly below market, as well as market rentals. Both of which are badly needed, paid for with additional density. The allocation mechanism for deciding who gets to rent one of the sub-market units is problematic.