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Housing affordability is a hot topic in Vancouver and I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about it and throw out 3 ideas that could be implemented to solve this issue. I am a real estate agent in Vancouver and I know first hand how challenging it is becoming for families to live in this beautiful city. Let’s dive right into this. Here are the three steps that I would suggest:
1) Prefab housing. What is this this? Do you remember playing with erector sets when you were a kid? This method of building housing has been around for years and is being implemented in other parts of the world like Europe, China and Israel. It essentially allows construction to be fast, efficient and systematized by manufacturing construction components off-site and assembling those components using a crane and minimal labour. Steel frame and hollow core concrete slabs can cut the time and cost to build a building dramatically.
2) Fast track building permits. How long do you think it takes to gain approval for a highrise development in Vancouver? If a rezoning is part of the process, which it usually is, it can take 6 or 7 years from the time a developer envisions a project to the time buyers actually take possession and move in. This entire process needs to be streamlined and the city has to cut the red tape and fast track the public consultation process.
3) Reducing the cost of building permits, development cost charges and community cost charges. Did you know that when a land assembly happens in Vancouver, the homeowners selling their homes at high values do not participate or give back to the community for the extra value the city has created through the rezoning? It is up to the developer to pay the higher land cost and pay the city the community cost charge. This cost is in turn passed on to the end user or purchaser of the condominiums that are ultimately built. If we want affordability, all of these charges need to be dramatically reduced.
As a final note, I wanted to mention the alternative to finding affordability is to find a way to generate more individual or family income. Average family incomes are $60k to $70k in Vancouver. Obviously, with the cost of housing where it is in Vancouver, average income families can no longer own a home. We have to look for additional means of income and understand how money works. If you want to see how financially literate you (take the quiz) are or if you are looking for a new carrier my wife, Alison, is growing a financial company that is looking for ethical, hardworking individuals and you can reach out to her through the link below this video.