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Woodward’s developer tries new experiment in affordable housing

July 26th, 2010 · 36 Comments

Developer Ian Gillespie and architect Gregory Henriquez are partnering with Vancity and Habitat for Humanity to build a project that is affordable to people with incomes in the $26,000-$36,000 range, as I detail in my Globe story today.

This is sure to set off another interesting debate about affordability (what is it, what does it mean, are the trade-offs worth it, affordable to who, affordable for how long) and gentrification in the Downtown Eastside (since CCAP and Wendy Pedersen are currently taking the position that anything except for social housing is gentrification, even these kinds of units).

I find this project interesting because of the way Gillespie and Henriquez are puzzling over how to prevent speculation. That’s an ongoing issue in this city — well, in certain parts of the city. There’s no doubt that speculative buying drives up the price of real estate in particular neighbourhoods, which then ripples out to other neighbourhoods. How do you prevent it or slow it down, assuming you want to?

I’ll be looking forward to see the results of this effort.

(Btw, for those not aware, Gillespie and Henriquez are also the team behind the much-debated tower on Comox in the West End.)

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