Happy 60th birthday, CMHC! You’re fired.

Today’s Globe has a story that the feds are contemplating the privatization of CMHC. Let me get this straight. With the run-up in real estate prices, housing affordability is perhaps as bad as it has ever been. In recent years, CMHC has pulled away from supporting the creation of new affordable housing (although it does help support existing social housing […]

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BC’s new rent supplements

The BC government has introduced a new program to address the crisis in housing affordability: rent supplements. Over the past five years, the BC government has stopped building affordable housing for low income people. There has been new federal money for this purpose but the government has used that money to build “assisted living” spaces for seniors (properly part of […]

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What the homeless need …

are homes. I find Globe columnist on BC, Gary Mason, obnoxious much of the time, but in this two-column effort to come to grips with Vancouver and Victoria’s growing army of street people, he gets it right. Time to try a home remedy for the homeless … In a groundbreaking study 15 years ago, Prof. Culhane found that 80 per […]

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BC’s poverty amidst plenty

My latest column for The Tyee: Without any fanfare a report popped up on the web site of Human Resources and Social Development Canada this past month. No press release, no communications strategy at all. Just another statistical report on poverty in a society that thinks of itself as middle class. But this is not just another statistical report on […]

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Bubble bubble toil and trouble?

The bad news is starting to come in from south of the border. For those interested in following bubblemania, I recommend The Vancouver Housing Market Blog. The LA Times reports: The chief economist of the California Assn. of Realtors has stopped using the term “soft landing” to describe the state’s real estate market, saying she no longer feels comfortable with […]

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Housing the Homeless and Addicted

The New York Times reports on a Seattle initiative to provide homes for homeless alcoholics. They do not require sobriety to get a spot, a development that rankles moralistic conservatives. The reason is economics: it costs less to house them than what is currently spent on health care, detox and criminal justice. New York and some other major US cities […]

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