SFU Public Square is organizing the following public meeting.
Your Home: expectations, needs and what’s real
Thursday, 7-May-2015, 12:30 pm
Room 1600, Harbour Centre, SFU’s Vancouver Campus
515 W. Hastings
Housing prices inflate, seemingly without pause. 30-somethings with advanced degrees tweet photos of themselves holding signs saying, “I haven’t got $1 million.” Modest but serviceable Vancouver cottages are replaced with McMansions. Anxiety finds culprits: ‘stop foreign investors and their empty houses!’ The press breathlessly reports every uptick.
Underlying the ofttimes worrying changes are three things that usually don’t make the evening news: the kind of home we want and expect to live in; the amount of space we need; and hard facts about what is and is not causing the change. Our presenters are Eveline Xia, who started the “I don’t have $1 million” Twitter movement as an outlet for a new generation that doesn’t have the access to the kind of housing that their parents had. Software developer Adrian Crook, his partner and five children live happily in a rented, 1000 ft2 downtown condo. Planner and economist Yazmin Hernandez is from strategic research consultants Urban Futures, which analyzes and explains housing trends and their causes.
Then it’s your turn to question, observe, and offer your perspective and opinion. Please feel free to bring your lunch.
- We hope there will be a balanced discussion…
- Urban Futures is a fee-based consulting service for private and public sector clients. Unless they have changed their tune since 2014 in view of new information (e.g., money laundering in Vancouver property, etc.), their position is already clear on some aspects of this discussion. For example, “Fears over impact of vacant residences misplaced: census. Concern that empty homes held by off shore speculators will turn neighbourhoods into ghost towns is overblown, according to think- tank Urban Futures” (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun, 27-Sep-2014).
- Counter that position with this: “Vancouver lacks effective control over rising house prices, prof says. Other places use taxes and penalties to control foreign investment.” (Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun, 4-May-2015).
- And this: “All levels of government urged to act on ‘hot money’ from China by former ambassador David Mulroney” (Sam Cooper, The Province, 14-Apr-2015)
- SFU Public Square is closely affiliated with and reportedly receives funding from the development industry.
- For anyone who wishes to study the issues, here is our growing page of resources on the topics of global money and housing in Vancouver. https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/special-topics/money/
- If meeting participants who attend the meeting feel that SFU Public Square did not give the topics a fair and balanced shake, CityHallWatch offers to organize a separate meeting in the near future on the same topics.
Also, Eveline is organizing a rally!