Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fun facts for a not-funny issue

Fun facts for a not-funny issue: "

Thanks to Michael Geller for drawing attention to a housing report fresh out of City Hall, authored by Dale McClanaghan. Says Geller:

It provides a very comprehensive overview of Vancouver’s rental housing stock…where it is, when it was built, its condition, the required cost of renovations and repair, replacement costs, along with policy options and much more…

As more and more people need rental housing, the cost of producing it is going through the roof, if you’ll pardon the pun. Sadly, there is inadequately zoned land to accommodate the required housing, and I suspect that we are going to have to be much more innovative in figuring out how to produce more new units, how to repair the existing stock, and how to address the related problems of homelessness.

Along with the report is the City-prepared PowerPoint summary, which, let’s face it, is what most of us will see.

It is worth a scan, though, for some surprising items and images. Like this map that shows where the secondary suites are:

Amazing how sharp is the east-west line down Ontario (or Quebec) Street (at a zoning boundary too).

Or this, which shows that laneway houses are much more evenly scattered:

Here’s something not really surprising, since it’s well known that hardly any rental units are being built – only condos. But here’s the way it has played out since 1951:

Fortunately, there’s been a ‘Rate of Change’ bylaw in place since I was on Council, that limits the number of demolitions over time. The report speculates that another 14,200 units could be at risk by 2019 without it:

Finally, some good news in a way. Here’s a map-and-chart that portrays the number of street homelessness,compared to the number who have shelter.

Might be a little tough to make out with clicking on it – but what jumped out at me was the number of street homeless in the Downtown East Side – 78 – compared to those with shelter: 500. Whereas in the West End it’s 42/40.

Expect spin. Everyone can bring their own interpretation – but they might first begin by checking out the full summary here. And perhaps point out some more surprising finds.


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