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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Affordable Housing

I just viewed a documentary about Hamburg.  It reminds me of Vancouver. Private land developers took over Hamburg causing a terrible affordability problem there as well.  It seems affordability is fueled by the knowledge that there is an affordability problem: those that can will borrow, beg and steal for down payments to buy properties before prices get worse thus creating a demand that inflates property values that cannot be reversed.  No government will do anything to lower the value of real estate.  It would be political suicide.

Think about this.  A friend of mine who earns $80,000 a year pays $1,000 a month for a suite in a house.  This low-level suite has two bedrooms and mirrors the upstairs in size.  He complains that his rent is too high.  He pays less than 10% of his income on rent; I pay 50% of my income on rent and my living space is 50% less than his.  Go figure.  Maybe my friend is an outlier.  But then how many outliers are there.  There is no way of knowing.

And remember Libby Davis.  Libby Davis lived in social housing while she was a federal member of parliament.  So much for the NDP and this fighter for social issues.  She could well afford to rent elsewhere and leave that unit open for those that truly needed low-income housing. 

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