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Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

Empty-homes tax might go even higher than original two per cent proposed, with higher penalties

September 20th, 2016 · 7 Comments

Vancouver councillors debated the proposed empty-homes tax this morning, with some unexpected results. (Well, at least to me, so perhaps I’m clueless.) The NPA councillors came out AGAINST the tax, which I thought would have been seen as very popular with their base. (See my story for their various reasons.) And then Vision councillors started […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

Proposed new regulations for Airbnb and others coming next week

September 20th, 2016 · 2 Comments

It’s getting confusing, all the new housing taxes popping up here and there. Hope to help you keep it straight, especially since some cases will fall under multiple taxes and regulatory regimes. (Just imagine a foreign investor who buys a unit in Vancouver and decideds to rent it out only through Airbnb. Three new laws […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver sets off into the choppy waters with an empty-homes tax, one of a few cities around world

September 15th, 2016 · 2 Comments

So here we go. Vancouver will become the first city in Canada and one of a very select group around the world to charge an empty-homes tax as a way of trying to curb the effects of speculative investment and to get some housing stock back on the market. I wrote two stories this week […]

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Vancouver’s new immigrants not here to make money but to find a better quality of life — and policymakers haven’t caught up

September 6th, 2016 · 14 Comments

As some of you sharper readers may have noticed, I’ve become interested in our significant new bloc of immigrants, those people from mainland China. (Okay, I’ve always been interested. I got an Asia Pacific Foundation fellowship in 1990 that allowed me to live in China for three months, another different fellowship that took me to […]

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How Seattle has not just encouraged rental but used a tax-relief program to reduce rents for working but low-income tenants

August 30th, 2016 · 6 Comments

Cities all around North America are struggling to figure out how to provide housing for their lower-income residents —  not the poorest of the poor, but people making less than the median income for the region. Housing for that group is disappearing and not much new is appearing. A lot of federal/state/provincial programs focus on […]

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Building housing that battles bedbugs, cigarette smoke, floods, and more: how a developer and non-profit group teamed up to do that

August 29th, 2016 · 5 Comments

I got a tour of the new Jubilee House under construction this March, when it was still hardhat and steel-toed-boot territory, because the people at the 127 Society for Housing wanted me to do what they were doing. I’ve seen a lot of social-housing buildings in my 20-plus years covering this, but I have to […]

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Second-last gas station in downtown Vancouver put on the market

August 25th, 2016 · 32 Comments

The disappearing gas station is something that has attracted my attention for years. You see the signs of their former selves all over the city, sometimes sitting unused for many years because of the remediation needed (Broadway/Guelph, for example), sometimes instantly snapped up for development (Main/25th). So of course, I jumped like a rabbit when […]

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Nondescript Broadway property sells for $46 million as part of transit-line land rush

August 23rd, 2016 · 2 Comments

Every time I hear about some crazy price paid for a piece of developable land in the city, it is superceded a few months later by an even crazier price. The latest was the $46 million paid for 950 West Broadway by someone who appears to be a newbie buyer/developer in town (see story), which […]

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One of city’s biggest developers sues city over social housing — and not for the reasons you might think

August 19th, 2016 · 3 Comments

Yep, Concord Pacific, which has worked hand in hand with the City of Vancouver for decades, is suing the city, even asking for an injunction to stop the city from selling a piece of land that Concord says it handed over for social housing. My story here. Their argument — not fair now to sell […]

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More change coming to Chinatown: development sites for sale, sky-high residential rents

August 12th, 2016 · 4 Comments

A sharp observer alerted me yesterday to more signs of change in Chinatown: two key sites (the venerable Tosi’s at 624 Main and the Brickhouse/empty lot/student hostel/Jimi Hendrix shrine assembly at Main and Union) for sale and a new rental building with rents starting at $1,267 for studios. My story on that here, complete with […]

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Tags: Uncategorized