(Epilogue: Best initial media coverage so far: Don’t have $1 million: Hundreds attend affordable housing rally in Vancouver, Emily Jackson, Metro News Vancouver)
Affordable Housing Rally by #DontHave1Million
Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson Square
Sunday, May 24, 2015, noon to 2 pm
(Below is copied over as a public service from https://www.facebook.com/events/419315721574615/)
It’s time to be heard! There is no end in sight to the stratospheric home prices in Vancouver and its impact is being felt across our communities.
Families and professionals are leaving in frustration, homes sit vacant while too many need shelter, rent is sky-high, businesses can’t retain talent in this city, and the next generation of Vancouverites are forever priced out. The affordability crisis is affecting everyone in the income-spectrum and problems are all interconnected. But what’s to be done?
Come with your friends and families and hear from the following speakers. We can make your voices heard all the way to the top! It’s times likes this in which we look to our three-levels of government for leadership!
We will not only discuss the problem, but also outline possible solutions from the Feds, Province, and City that can help give the next generation of Vancouverites a fighting chance to stay in the place they call home.
-Paul Kershaw, founder of Generation Squeeze
-Eveline Xia, founder of #DontHave1Million affordable housing Twitter campaign
-Saeid Fard, author of blog post “The Decline of Vancouver”
-Wes Regan, citizen journalist at the Vancouver Observer
-Tony Roy, Executive Director of BC Non-Profit Housing Association
-And additional speakers to be added!
Stats from a younger Canadian’s perspective:
Did you know today, younger Canadians have to save up to 3 times longer for a 20% down payment than their parents did in the 1970s? For home buyers in 1976 the average time it took to save up for a down payment was 5 years. Today the Canadian average is 10 years. The average in British Columbia is 15 years. And the average for the Greater Vancouver Area? Not yet calculated but it may just be too disturbing to think about! Even with historically low interest rates today, higher home prices mean average monthly mortgage payments are skyrocketing.
But aren’t people making more today than they did in the 70s? NOPE: Today’s average wages for Canadians aged 25-34 is $20.77, compared to $23.41 in 1976. (figures adjusted for inflation) So these higher housing costs, in addition to lower wages make living and staying in Vancouver an uphill battle.
*Please note that we are not trying to detract from low-income housing or solutions for the homeless – we welcome everyone to the conversation!
**All figures adjusted for inflation. Data sources can be found atwww.gensqueeze.ca