Metro News: Eby & Experts weigh in on Vancouver housing prices

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May 25, 2016 | Matt Kieltyka

Quoted from the article:

The only way density will make Vancouver homes more affordable is with government intervention, MLA David Eby warned during a panel discussion on the city’s affordability crisis.

Speaking at a University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business event looking into whether Vancouver could become more affordable without sacrificing livability, Eby warned flooding the market with new homes doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be cheaper.

“Density is critically important but it’s not the only solution,” he said Tuesday evening. “The people that try to sell you density without any other measures to ensure affordability are selling you, in my opinion, more of the same. More luxury condos.”

Eby said some of Vancouver’s most densely developed neighbourhoods, like Coal Harbour downtown, remain unaffordable to average residents.

As do new townhome developments throughout the city that exponentially multiply the number of homes on a former single-family lot but still sell for well over a million dollars.

“My family would love to live in one of those households but at a median family income of $77,000 [for a typical Vancouver family] it is still really hard to afford,” said Eby. “You need to make a deal [with neighbourhoods] … you’re going to lose a lot in this transaction, you’ll lose the character of your neighbourhood and the feeling you had growing up as a kid. The trade off is we give you affordability. That [affordability] needs to be struck first before the wholesale rezoning. In this kind of atmosphere, it’s a really tough sell.”

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