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The affordability objection
Somehow never raised against the status quo
The view from Victoria:
An example from Facebook last night, on a six-storey rental building (20% non-market) in Vancouver which replaces three single-detached houses in West Point Grey, on West 10th at Highbury (one block west of Alma).
It won’t be affordable to people who work in Vancouver or the Point Grey village, even the “non-market” segment, so it is neither economically just nor does it incur the commuting-reduction effects of density.
It is an aesthetically displeasing box designed to maximize FSR when there is already a relatively established architectural style in the block from Highbury to Alma. The developer makes lots of money, and housing continues to remain out of reach with a project like this. Not that council would listen to this though, they already have their vote locked in in favour long before anyone will speak at the public hearing.
Why is the commenter not thinking about the affordability of single-detached houses in the neighbourhood?
We can use Jens von Bergmann’s Vancouver Assessment Map to check prices in the neighbourhood. On the next street north, at 3803 West Broadway, a single-detached house built in 2014 is assessed at $5 million.
To have secure housing in a single-detached house, you need to own it. We can use RBC’s mortgage payment calculator to estimate what kind of household income would make a $5M house affordable. It turns out that if you have a $1 million down payment (which seems improbable) and borrow $4 million at 5.74% (RBC’s current 5-year fixed rate), the monthly mortgage payment is about $25,000. To keep the mortgage payments at 30% of annual income (not considering property taxes and utilities), you would need an annual household income of $1 million.
What market and non-market rents look like on the West Side, from the staff report: