The great housing debate continues: Are we building enough housing, or are we not?
Right now the media is talking about a new report from the Union of B.C. Municipalities, which is claiming that cities in British Columbia are actually building enough housing to keep pace with population demand.
Between 2016 and 2021, the province’s population grew by 7.6% and the number of new dwellings grew by 7.2%, according to the report. So supply appears to be lining up with demand.
One problem with this robust analysis is that many people, including the Housing Minister, don’t agree. Here’s an excerpt from the Globe and Mail:
“The overly naive analysis comparing housing to population growth to declare the adequacy of our housing supply fails to understand that housing and population growth are intimately related,” said statistics analyst Jens von Bergmann, a regular decoder of housing statistics for Vancouver and Canada. “It’s a slap in the face of those who have been pushed out, or those who failed to move here, because of the unavailability of housing.”
And on a related note, here is a recent piece by Shawn Micallef (Toronto Star) talking about why the left can’t get Toronto’s housing right.
My family has a farm on an island in the Salish Sea. Between the 2011 and 2016 censuses, the island added seven residents and seventy seven residences. A study of condos in high end Coal Harbour a few years back showed that 17 percent of condominiums there did not have an active BC Hydro account. In other words, unoccupied. There are a lot of factors pushing and pulling here, including household size as well. My belief is that in BC a lot of homes are built but not usefully occupied, and this is one of many factors that skews the numbers. I have a question. How many new units are built without some form of subsidy or incentive that a family making $100,000 can afford?