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Affordable housing in Victoria


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#1 Galvanized

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 11:00 AM

What's everyones take on affordable housing? Should the City of Victoria be responsible for affordable housing by taking contributions from developers and investing it? I believe this issue should be delt with more by the feds and the province, just because they are behind in this doesn't mean the city should have to step up to the plate.
Past President of Victoria's Flâneur Union Local 1862

#2 Holden West

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 11:46 AM

I think there's a realization among most groups that simply doling out subsidized apartments to the working poor is neither practical or advisable.

Unfortunately, any solution is going to be complex, involving multiple layers of government, non-profits and private industry.

The Federal Government got out of the subsidized housing business long ago and show little interest in getting back in.

The Province realizes that building adequate below-market housing for all 22,000 in the CRD that qualify would cost billions (even if the land could be found and purchased). The CRD says the days of Co-op housing are over.

As far as the private sector, rents would have to double before building rental housing becomes economical again. The only rental housing built in the future will be by charities and pension plans.

Today's affordable housing in the city is primarily the 1960s apartments. New construction is rarely "affordable".
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 11:48 AM

As far as the private sector, rents would have to double before building rental housing becomes economical again. The only rental housing built in the future will be by charities and pension plans.

.


What about legal secondary suites?

#4 Holden West

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 11:57 AM

Not just legalizing but encouraging secondary suites, possibly with tax breaks.

The City is studying this issue. Read about it here:

http://www.city.vict... ... ndry.shtml
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#5 Mike K.

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:52 AM

Here's a classic "I can't afford it, so nobody should have it" argument.

Guess what, Rachel. Opposition to new housing, including your oppposition, is the leading cause of inflated housing costs. The organized anti-devlelopment groups know this but the regular Joe's caught in the middle actually believe opposition to market housing is a worthwhile way of increasing affordability. Keep fighting the fight :roll:

Affordable housing should be mandatory

Re: “Former CEO accuses Vancity of firing him over affordable housing,” (Aug. 5).
Even if affordable housing is promised in developers’ presentations seldom does it come to fruition. Victoria does not need any more luxury condos where $400,000 is the base price being offered. [Victoria doesn't need more luxury housing, or Rachel doesn't like it because she can't afford it? I bet it's the latter.] Why hasn’t city council demanded that affordable units be built as part of new projects instead of asking for a con tribution to the affordable housing fund?
If we are to have a thriving downtown core with locals and tourists visiting we must make affordable housing mandatory in any new development. It is not too late to revisit the promise of affordable housing for Dockside Green, we must as a city demand it.
Rachel McDonnell,
Victoria.

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#6 Scaper

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 08:50 PM

My view on AFFORDABLE HOUSING is this, affordable for everyone.

I don't believe just because you make less money than someone you deserve a house just like his. I believe real estate purchases should be something acheived through hard work and success. I don't own a home, nor do I think the masses should have to pay for part of a home for me. If I can't afford a house today, I should rent.

Now if someone is in dire straights, and life is hard, and they can't afford standard rental prices, then yes as a society we should provide affordable subsidized rental units for people. I do not believe in subsidized ownership. This is a form of communism to me. It undermines ones primal desires to achieve & succeed.

An example of this would be the following.

Mr. Joe worked for years with Mr. Smith in the same job. Mr. Joe saw that his job's income would never provide for his desires in life. Mr. Joe decided to spend all his saved earnings and start a business for himself. He sacrificed for many more years, working three times the hours he did when he worked beside Mr. Smith.

Now Mr. Smith told Mr. Joe at that time, don't be foolish don't leave and invest your money in something that may fail. You have job security, you have safety knowing you have a job...don't do it. Mr Joe obviously didn't listen to Mr. Smith. Though they remained friends.

10 years later Mr. Joe has employees, he has bought himself those things, that he couldn't afford before when he worked with Mr.Smith. Now Mr.Smith never invested his money, he drank had parties, lived it up, had a great time over those ten years. Now Mr. Smith had a wife a family, they never had a house. This really upset Mr.Smith because he saw Mr. Joe with all the things he wanted, and in his mind he should have too.

Mr. Smith complained and complained to the government and to society with all the other people who made similar decissions as he did. Their voice was quite large so the government listenned. Then Mr. Smith got a subsidized condo right beside Mr. Joe's condo. This made Mr. Smith very happy as now he had just what Mr. Joe had even though he didn't work for it.

This sounds so ridiculous but this is exactly what Subsidized housing is.

I do not agree with it.

#7 Mike K.

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 10:46 PM

That's one situation, for sure.

There are ways of mitigating affordability concerns even in an over-priced market like Victoria. Out in Langford one can pick up a new condo for $160,000. In some areas of Saanich and further out houses sell for $200,000. In fact Scaper and I were recently made aware of two fairly large homes across from Tillicum Mall going for $225,000 each.

Individuals have to live within their means. If they can't afford to live in the Uplands then they can't afford it. Just because they want to live there it gives society absolutely no reason to support them in their desires by subsidizing their wants. So with that in mind, why are so many locals hell-bent on subsidizing downtown market housing?

My biggest problem is artificial price inflation especially the type caused by anti-development types who insist all new housing will ruin Victoria. But they fail to mention their property values will skyrocket if nothing more can be built around them!

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#8 Holden West

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 11:00 PM

The best neighbourhoods are those that house a variety of income levels. Old buildings in cities like Toronto or New York are used by low-income renters. Because of seismic concerns, old buildings in downtown Victoria wait empty for decades until expensive upgrading is done and they're turned into upscale condos.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#9 Mike K.

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 11:07 PM

Downtown can certainly house a variety of income levels through a mix of owner-occupied and rental units. That's the reality even in an uber-posh market like Vancouver but individuals, especially those who choose to blanket the market with their incorrect "impressions," don't necessarily realize it nor are they interested in researching the market realities. For such individuals it is much easier to scream bloody murder whenever a lux condo is proposed as opposed to study to the realities of a dynamic and ever-changing urban district.

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#10 zoomer

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 11:11 PM

that reminds me I hope to finish up at least one article on the weekend... the one which will mention that most residents in downtown Victoria are...POOR! Yes, we need a better mix of housing downtown.

#11 Mike K.

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 11:13 PM

Bingo!

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#12 Scaper

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 11:27 PM

True to everyone. I always wonder why all the top floors of all those heritage buildings lay empty. It's a shame. Plus with no one living in them, there is no heat, dampness, mold, etc making these places even worse.

#13 Holden West

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 11:28 PM

What's take home pay for someone making about $10 an hour? About $1200 a month? What's a decent rent in a non-slum apartment--$750 or so? That leaves about $500 for utilites and bills, food etc.

I think most people could live pretty well on that. In fact, if they're fairly disciplined they could even start saving.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#14 Scaper

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 12:08 AM

It's also quite easy for someone to who works 5 days a week, 8 hour days, to run a small window clean business on saturday, or to start a yard clean up business to run on saturday. If a person didn't want to do that, they could also work a small one day or two evening dilivery job, or waiter job, or something to save even more cash.

#15 Holden West

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 12:14 AM

For some people that's pretty tough to do for more than a few months without burning out mentally or physically.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#16 Scaper

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 12:19 AM

True. Though if you have a good boss in a part time job like that, you can get some flexability. I delivered pizza's for a long time when starting my business. Though sometimes like you said you need that break. I was fortunate to have a good guy to work for. Though I also have a crazy amount of energy too. hahahahaa

Oh well. A guy could always just rob a bank. You know as long as he gave most of it away to the poor, he could be like a modern day Robin Hood.

Though I think he'ld have to call himself, Robin' in the Hood!!!

hahahahahaha

#17 captain highliner

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 01:35 PM

My solution...

A full spectrum of housing ownership types ranging from "fee simple" houses and Strata condos, to co-ops, supportive housing and short term shelters.

The key is diversity. Just like an ecosystem thrives on biodiversity, economies thrive when legislation and fiscal incentive structures encourage a diversity of ownership forms. There's no point in promoting a one size fits all solution, like all subsidised rental or public housing.

My personal preference is for co-operative ownership where residents help themselves in procuring their housing. It's unfortunate that CMHC has decided to scrap it's lending programs for new co-ops. It's bullsh#@, I say. They still underwrite first time home buyers, but not co-ops.

#18 Jarrod

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 02:07 PM

They should make Oak Bay affordable housing....

Or you know what? Instead of it being DOWNTOWN, why not put it in Esquimalt. I mean, clean it up and put in some really nice mid to high rise's.

That's my solution.

Or just blow up Oak Bay anyway. Why do we need it?

#19 Scaper

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 12:45 AM

My solution...

A full spectrum of housing ownership types ranging from "fee simple" houses and Strata condos, to co-ops, supportive housing and short term shelters.

The key is diversity. Just like an ecosystem thrives on biodiversity, economies thrive when legislation and fiscal incentive structures encourage a diversity of ownership forms. There's no point in promoting a one size fits all solution, like all subsidised rental or public housing.

My personal preference is for co-operative ownership where residents help themselves in procuring their housing. It's unfortunate that CMHC has decided to scrap it's lending programs for new co-ops. It's bullsh#@, I say. They still underwrite first time home buyers, but not co-ops.


The scary thing is first time buyers can get in at Zero down.....and over 35 years!!! YIKES!!!

#20 Holden West

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 06:09 AM

Yes, but I would assume a responsible person would only use that to get their foot in the economic door and that they would renegotiate a more favourable payment plan in five years when the mortgage comes up for renewal.

Then again, looking at things like credit card debt, not everyone's responsible.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

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