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Can government fix Metro Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis?


Condos in Vancouver.


Nick Procaylo / PNG

Housing Matters host Stuart McNish speaks with B.C. Minister of Housing Selina Robinson, opposition critic Sam Sullivan, and Vancouver Sun columnist Dan Fumano about how different levels of government can find solutions to Metro Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis.

Here are six things you need to know from the latest episode of the Housing Matters podcast hosted by Stuart McNish.

1. B.C. Housing Minister Selina Robinson is not a fan of “condos in the sky,” those 600-square-foot units in high rises that she says are no place to raise a family.

2. Robinson says her government brought in the housing needs assessment to require local government to examine every five years whether the type of development in their municipalities match local needs.

3. Robinson defends the paperwork involved so homeowners don’t have to pay the speculation tax as “not a really big deal.”

4. Liberal housing critic Sam Sullivan says the NDP government’s 30-point plan to address affordability is focused more on increasing taxes than increasing the housing supply.

5. Sullivan says anti-density forces took root in Vancouver in about 1973 — and since then about 70 per cent of the city’s residential land base has remained in single-house form. “We basically sprinkled frozen pixie dust on the city and whatever was, is now. The only densification that happened was in the industrial areas.”

6. Sullivan says a perverse consequence of devaluing high-priced homes is that their property taxes go down and the owners of more affordable homes end up paying more.


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