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Housing in Vancouver is maddeningly scarce and expensive, making us poorer. We need more housing.
Lack of housing in Metro Vancouver makes us all poorer.
Prices reflect scarcity. Because we don't have enough housing, market rents are high, and renters are terrified of losing their housing.
First-time homebuyers struggle to save a down payment and then pay the mortgage.
Even if you're a long-time homeowner, you don't benefit from the inflated price of your home unless you sell, and then where are you supposed to live?
We have a mismatch between jobs and housing. People move where the jobs are. We're adding new jobs much faster than we're building new housing.
It's like a ladder. As people move to Metro Vancouver for jobs, other people lower down are pushed down the ladder. People near the bottom of the ladder are forced to move away, to crowd into substandard housing, or worst of all, end up homeless.
To fix this, we need to build more housing, all the way up and down the ladder, and we need to build it faster.
If local governments can't figure out how to approve housing faster, the provincial government will need to step in.
For a more authoritative discussion, see the MacPhail Report on housing supply and affordability in BC.
The GTA and southern Ontario are facing similar problems. Mike Moffatt explains how a chronic shortage has been aggravated by the pandemic.