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BC: Spin Makes Vancouver Grate Again

January 04, 2017
BC: Spin Makes Vancouver Grate Again

Two news items out of Vancouver are a good reminder of how poorly run BC’s largest city is – and how lame their public relations efforts are.

Yesterday, Vancouver said they’d deliver piles of salt to local fire halls so neighbours could come fill buckets for free. (We’re in the midst of a series of ice and snow storms here.)

Of course, the salt was gone within minutes – long before the morning it was promised to be handed out.

And CKNW reports that Vancouver is bragging about how many new rental units were built in the city last year – 1,800. But experts say far more could have been done – if the city would hurry up and approve them. From the story:

David Goodman is a Principal at HQ Commercial and an author of the Goodman Report, he says developers are fed up with the bureaucracy at City hall and waiting three years for approvals.

“We want to know the actual hard supply is rather than what’s in the pipeline because half the time these buildings are never built. We are going to be having 35,000 people a year coming into the lower mainland and here the city is celebrating the approval of 1,800 units, it’s actually disgraceful.”

“As an insider, we know what developers go through and how frustrating and difficult it is to deal with the bureaucracy at City hall, and they brag about turning out a couple thousand units a year when it should be at least 5,000 units.”

He says there are multiple issues. “There’s zoning issues, there’s height issues, there’s density issues, the City is always very ambiguous and everything has to be negotiated and that’s probably one of the reasons developers throw up their hands and say ‘building rentals is serious brain damage’.”

Goodman points out that in Seattle, some 14,000 apartment building approvals were given this year.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data, which Goodman says is the holy grail of data, shows Vancouver added 2,227 rental units over the past 6 years, a mere 4 per cent increase.

Goodman says the numbers don’t lie.

Imagine: government politicians and bureaucracy spinning the public.

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