Affordable Housing

February 7, 2018

In my discussion of the Grant Street project, I noted that the proposed rents for the units to be built will not add to the affordable stock in Grandview. I have been asked to justify that statement.

The widely recognized standard of “affordable housing” is defined as housing costing less than 30% of before-tax household income. This definition is used by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Some lending institutions use 32% of income for housing costs as the affordability threshold used to approve mortgages.  My comments about affordability always use the CMHC definition.

The latest statistics I have for incomes in Vancouver shows the median annual family income to be $72,600.  The average individual annual income is $38,449 (I cannot find the individual median which will be lower than the average, so I will use the average.)  Therefore,

 – an affordable monthly rent for a median Vancouver family is 30% of $72,600 = $1,815 per month;

 – an affordable monthly rent for an average Vancouver single is 30% of $38,449 = $962 per month

Two singles sharing a one bedroom apartment can barely afford $1,800 a month, while a median Vancouver family cannot afford a two-bedroom at $2,300 (which would be close to 40% of their gross income) without sacrificing food or healthcare or other essentials.

So, whenever I carp about affordability, this is what I am talking about.

Image: Canada Goose

February 7, 2018

Looking Sad

February 7, 2018

At the end of Changes on the Drive #77, I reported on the closure of the long-established Nick’s Spaghetti House along with the convenience store next door. There were reports at the end of the year that another restaurant was primed to take over space.

A correspondent recently wrote asking what was happening at the site, so I went down there yesterday to take a look.


It was disappointing to see just how sad it was, with no work going on there so far as one could see. I’ll keep an eye in it in the hope that something new will appear soon.