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If enraging every resident in Vancouver is what you are after, driving more and more people out of the city and alienating or rendering homeless those who remain, busting up our last neighbourly communities, and spiking Vancouver’s true carbon footprint to the highest in Canada, then the outcome of the Mayor's Task Force on Housing Affordability is just the trick.
And a trick it is, a clumsy one that even a kindergartner could spot.
The plain facts are clear: you do not care a hoot about affordability, since if you did, you would certainly start by defining it.
Council’s refusal to reference a single definition of housing affordability in four years is absurd and patently illegitimate, especially when the City Manager, with no Council guidance, is licensed to decide what it is and what it is not (viz. STIR). Indeed affordability is a policy question, not a bureaucratic one. Its definition is also well known, and WE all know it. But, you’ve never shown you care, and housing prices today are proof positive of a studied ignorance. Ignorance, or a perverted intent to deceive?
On the question of land value inflation, currently the single biggest contributor to housing cost inflation, do you not think that rezoning almost the entire city to higher densities won’t exacerbate this? If nearly every home can now be ripped down and replaced with 2, 3, 5, or even 10 closet-sized apartments, what economist alive would argue that the inherent land value under all these soon-to-be scrapped homes would not be significantly higher, and in fact by multiples of 2, 3, 5, or even 10. Hong Kong housing prices, you are so yesterday!
Of course now every home in Vancouver will have to come down to realize this new fully-rezoned (“re-policied”?) city, at 40 to 60 tonnes of waste per demolished home. No impact on the municipal waste-stream, will there be? No impact on future rainwater permeability, eh? The carbon or any other ecological footprint of the new construction will never be assessed, in part since none of the cement or any other building material is made in or sourced from Vancouver…and who’s counting anyway.
Someone is: the residents of Vancouver as supported by such local heroes as the LCA team at UBC and many other area and global planning, building, and development technologists. They are all laughing, and crying! But few will admit this to your face. They know you won’t listen, and some want a piece of the only work left in Vancouver. All other gainful employment has been crowded out by the high cost of living and high rents.
But you who refuse to consider the horrible cost to society of over-zoning its buildable land and causing the greatest housing bubble crash that history has ever known, need to consider how you will face the voters in just two years, when Vancouver’s credit rating will be in free-fall, just like that of Spain, and for the identical reason: a single-minded unproductive investment in housing.
We will know who to blame. ALL of us will know, renters and owners alike.
First of all, renovictions will now escalate exponentially. Developers don't want us, when they can replace us with deep-pocketed international investors. The City wins big, becuase no services are necessary for people who will never live here. So, count on WAY more currently affordable homes and apartment buildings, if there are ANY left, to be targeted for sale and redevelopment.
Now, we know how hard it is to vote when you have no address anymore, but you can bet all of the displaced will find a way to stick it to this Council, someday, someway. We'll have a lot of time to think about it, sitting on a curb all night.
Prices of new construction, for sale or lease, will only fall after bankruptcies force property into receivership, and that will take years, if not decades. The City will struggle to collect taxes. Meanwhile people will flee the city in droves as property taxes are forced also to double to cover the infrastructure debts and deferred maintenance this Council has piled on, and these taxes will of course increase the cost of living here, especially for our seniors, some of whom will have lost their largest retirement asset…thanks to you.
That's a LOT of angry people, and they do vote.
We will inaugurate a special day to remember the “Vision” that went terribly wrong. Maybe that day will be October 2, every year, forever. Today is already International Day for Non-Violence, and it’s fitting that this violent act against the residents of Vancouver might be committed today.
But that is still your choice.
Refer the report for review by a librarian, to look up the definition of affordability, and an ecological economist, to point out simply that the emperor is not only wearing no clothes, but also taking a dump in our lettuce bed.
The lesson: the politics of a sham is lifelong shame.
Are you all ready for that?
no longer housed in Vancouver, BC
PS – I am 100% opposed to Council receiving, let alone, adopting this report from the so-called “Housing Affordability Task Force.” 100% means completely and totally. No prevarication. A check box in the “opposed” category, please. And I will demand an auditor ensure my vote is correctly categorized, because the only “trust” in Vancouver must be verifiable and verified. Thank you. Actually, NO thank you.