Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Living in the Past: Vancouver housing issues in 30-year old newspaper clippings

     For many years, my father (a former librarian) regularly cut out newspaper stories about housing in Vancouver, particularly when I was quoted. Over the years, I kept them in a scrapbook. While today Google Alerts have replaced newspaper clippings and scrapbooks, during the recent GVHBA Legends event, I mentioned to Joannah Connolly, editor of the Real Estate Weekly, that I had accumulated many newspaper clippings from Vancouver newspapers, including her paper. My favourite was one in which I urged people to start buying on the Eastside of Vancouver, since it was under priced compared to the Westside. She asked me to send them to her.
     Unfortunately, I couldn't find that one, but below are a few that I did send to her.(She subsequently asked me for others.)
     What you might find interesting is that back in the 1980s and early 90s there was already a concern about foreign buyers buying up residential units; we had a rental housing crisis not unlike today; the introduction of the GST on real estate was a big deal, and at one point, I had to argue (on behalf of UDI) that it apply to both new and resale homes, noting this would bring the GST down from 9% to 7%!
     Other major topics included housing for seniors, saving character and heritage homes, and the future of single family neighourhoods.
     In other words, there's not much new under the sun! If you want to see more clippings, just let me know. I have books full of them!