(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) 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.
(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) So we recently had an election in the City of Vancouver. Citizens elected a new mayor, ten council members, park board and school board, giving a majority to the centre-right leaning new ABC (A Better City) Party candidates for each (full results posted by the City). There are a variety of narratives out there about how it all went down. Here we’re interested in examining a couple of them in further detail using the recently released individual ballot data (all ballots remain anonymous, of course).
(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) In May we estimated suppressed household formation across Canada using what we called the Montréal Method, finding strong evidence for suppression across many parts of Canada. As a reminder, we designed the Montréal Method to estimate housing shortfalls related to constraints upon current residents who might wish to form independent households but are forced to share by local housing markets. Now that we’ve got 2021 Census data out, it’s time to update our estimates.