I love Vancouver. I was born here (yes! native-born Vancouverites do exist) but I was also lucky enough to live in a small town, and I choose Vancouver because I love it.
But there is a heavy price for living in this city — literally. That price is the cost of housing. Housing is expensive here. If they put up thousands of rental units and hundreds of low-cost condos the housing price may even out — temporarily. Because more and more people are going to move here, and those houses and condos and rentals are going to be filled up and it’s just going to be on a giant roller coaster of prices — it’s never going to be cheap to live here. It’s like when they build more freeways to bring people into town from the suburbs. Guess what! That means more people will move to the suburbs and those freeways will be filled up again in a few years and you go back to the beginning, world without end.
But the cost of housing here is not reflected in our wages and salaries. So most of us are caught in a real squeeze, especially if you are raising children. Affordable private housing for families of 3 or 4 usually starts at about $650,000 (if you are lucky enough to find it).
So it’s always nice to see someone trying to do something for those families.
In this story in BC Business, a proposal for co-housing has been brought to Vancouver City Hall for approval. The idea is a hybrid of private ownership and co-op housing.
As opposed to a co-operative housing complex, wherein a corporation or association owns units and residents own shares in that corporation, co-housing allows each individual to own some living space outright, and share other areas with fellow residents.
I lived in a co-op with my children for over 12 years, and for me, it was great. There was always someone for the kids to play with, space for them to play in, people watched out for each other, and we made a community. But you always knew that you weren’t living in your “very own” space. It was just like having a nosy landlord — except all your neighbours were your landlords.
So I welcome the idea of co-housing. And the price will be more reasonable than detached houses. But it won’t be cheap.
the complex estimates the price of a 875 sq. ft. unit to be $480,000.