Why Supply Is Clearly NOT The Problem

Early last year I wrote a piece about how the City of Vancouver is approving about twice the number of housing units that we need to manage our population growth.  Now we have the latest population statistics from Stats Can and we can check my arguments against reality.

Between 2011 and 2015, the City of Vancouver population grew by 27,984 people.

Even today, with all the sociological changes in the way we live, most of us still do not live alone (who can afford it?) — we live in households, traditional or otherwise. Households here average a little over 2 people. That means that we grew by approximately 13,000 households. This figure represents the genuine need for new housing.

According to the CoV’s own figures, we approved 25,341 housing units in that same period — or about twice the number we actually needed to meet the growth in households. The development industry has tried to tell us that household size has fallen and so the need is greater. However, the Census figures do not agree with them.

These latest figures confirm that we are building for greed not need, and may go some way to explaining why we have 25,000 vacant properties in the city.



3 Responses to Why Supply Is Clearly NOT The Problem

  1. David Carman says:

    You hit the nail on the head, Jak. It’s not a surprise to regularly see commentary from groups like the Fraser Institute and Urban Development Institute saying that there is not enough supply and more housing will create affordability. Their self-interest is very transparent to those familiar with these advocacy groups. It disturbs me though to see organizations like Abundant Housing Vancouver echoing the same sentiments. This group claims to have no financial ties to the development industry, yet they also clamor for more housing in the name of affordability – even when stats clearly show more housing has not created affordability. It reminds me of working people that endorse the call for tax cuts for the 1%, because they somehow think that will wealth will trickle down to them … and look how that’s worked, it’s simply exacerbated income inequality.

  2. John Smith says:

    flawed argument; the increase in population is net. Suppose 20,000 people died between 2010 and 2015 but someone kept leaving in their houses, this means 47,000 new people came in, not 27,000.

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