Tea & Two Slices is a long-running local news round-up by NEEDS frontman and veteran dishwasher Sean Orr, who lives and works in Gastown, deeply aware of his privilege.
Paul Sullivan: Making existing homeowners poorer is hardly an affordability strategy. Poorer! This guy, an industry insider, claims that people who have enjoyed absolutely insane property appreciation are in a position to suffer. We are the fucking eviction capital of Canada with the highest child poverty rate going on 18 years in a row and record numbers of homeless. The nerve!
These are the same people that would bitch about taxes when land values were going through the roof, calling it “unrealized wealth“. Now they are saying they are poor because they used their equity like a chequing account. If we had taxed this real estate windfall properly from the beginning the issue would be moot.
“Pitting renters against homeowners is a dirty tactic that polarizes an already stressed population”. Uh, maybe if you didn’t use homes as investment vehicles it wouldn’t be a problem. “Shaming those who have worked hard to secure a home for their families, regardless of whether they’re renters or homeowners, undermines the health of our society itself.” Dude, literally nobody is saying that. Nobody is shaming anyone. The government created the conditions that allowed for the bonanza, and are now scrambling to capture an iota of that so we can invest it back into our society, so stop with the self-victimization, yeah?
And that’s not even getting into the generational divide: What Does Vancouver Have Against Millennials?
What happens to Vancouver-area millennials whose parents can’t or won’t provide the financial means to buy a home? Many are consigned to the bottom rung of the equity-building ladder, as they spend their earnings on rent.
An increasingly renter-oriented society might be a good thing if rents were affordable, but they are not. Vancouver market rents are now rising at just under 10 per cent a year, while one in five B.C. renters now hand their landlords over half of their income. In fact, B.C. has the highest proportion of renters in that onerous predicament.
The plight of both millennial renters and owners would be mitigated if governments were to intervene at a scale needed. But that’s not happening.
Even Paul Sullivan realizes that trickle-down affordability has failed and that more and that “90 per cent of first-time buyers are relying on the bank of mom and dad”, a truly depressing phrase. But instead of realizing the market got us into this mess and only policy can get us out, he opts to appeal to the anti-tax hysteria that brainwashed his entire generation.
The fact is, taxes aren’t slowing down the industry and we are building more supply than ever. There’s no crisis in supply: Metro Vancouver saw a record number of housing starts in 2019: CMHC. I got called an “anti-density cultist” in #vanpoli for daring to say that more supply doesn’t equal more affordability because…math. An increase in the vacancy rate doesn’t make things cheaper. I’m 100% all for density if it means non-market solutions like co-ops, land trusts and nonprofit housing corporations.
But as usual the supplyists don’t differentiate the kind of supply that is being built. Here’s a take by Shawn Vulliez: “The supply/demand stuff drives me up the wall because it treats all housing units as equal. Imagine its raining and you’re wearing sneakers. Do you have a supply of footwear problem? Or a lack of boot problem? If the supply of footwear was greater, would that increase the chances you have access to rain boots? Maybe, sort of, in some abstract, weird, indirect, unprovable way. That’s what people advocating for supply in a housing crisis sound like. What we need to be clear about is that we don’t need ‘more footwear’, we need boots”.
Paraphrasing Daily Hive: ‘Hey, this other city that is completely different, has totally different zoning, doesn’t have single detached homes covering vast swaths, hasn’t been densified, has different interest rates, and has way higher incomes is doing a thing that we should do here. I am very smart’: Seattle built 17,450 rental homes in 1 year, while Vancouver only counted 1,364. Again, what kind of homes? Because the only parallel to Vancouver worth mentioning here, Daily Hive, is that rents for luxury apartments are falling, while low-cost apartments are high and rising.
This is what happens when you enact toothless “renter protection”. West End renter accuses developer of dirty tricks over relocation agreement. Related petition: Stop Reliance Properties Vancouver Renoviction.
That’s a ‘no’ from me, dog: Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless. Forced institutionalization of mentally ill people is horrifying and I’m disappointed an NDPer would bandy this idea about.
The world is watching: ‘What cost are human rights worth?’ UN calls for immediate RCMP withdrawal in Wet’suwet’en standoff. Unprecedented fires in Australia, Indonesia under water, Ocean temperatures hit record high and the RCMP are going to war against our own people (again), for what? A fracked gas pipeline to China…
Vancouver police chief defends handcuffing of Indigenous man and granddaughter. If your protocol is to instantly put a 12-year old in handcuffs on suspicion of fraud then your protocol is wrong. In a city with rampant money laundering and white collar crime, this can only be seen as an expression of white supremacy.
OPINION: Praise for the VPD for protecting us from a dangerous 12-year-old criminal mastermind. You know you’re in trouble when the milquetoasts at Vancouver is Awesome come out with better biting satire than the Beaverton…
It’s ok, though, as The Beaverton nails it elsewhere: Unskilled foreigners seek move to Canada.
You people: Don Cherry Has A Shot At Becoming The Face Of The Next $5 Bill. No, no, no, no.
Truth: 10 citizens’ reports on social media that make painfully clear Vancouver does not know how to handle snow. Remember when we almost rioted over free salt?