(CBC) - Richmond is planning a substantial increase to the amount of money developers pay to the city's affordable housing fund, as part of an effort to deal with the Lower Mainland's high real estate prices.
Construction companies can now pay 60 cents per square foot in lieu of adding lower-cost housing to new developments.
Under the city's new affordable housing strategy, that charge would go up to $4 per square foot in some cases. "What they've really done is simply increase the cost of new housing stock for Richmond," he said, "which means tomorrow's buyer of housing is being saddled with the cost of affordable housing when it's everybody's issue, not just new home buyers." link.
This seems to me to be wrong-headed. There was a requirement for developers to build "affordable" housing alongside the market housing. Richmond City Council offered them an "out" by tacking on $0.60 per sq. ft. This is not an onerous sum, as it would only add $1200 to the price of a 2000 sq. ft. home. Surely the developer added their 40% to that, which would bring it up to about $0.84 per sq. ft. My question is; how much money has Richmond spent on affordable housing? I would wager not too much.
So now they want to tack on another $8000 to the cost of that 2000 sq. ft. house, and by the time the developer adds his 40%, that number climbs to $12k. Council wants to make housing more affordable by making it more expensive? This is where I bring in one of my favourite quotes - by Tweedledee in Through the Looking Glass:
`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
I find myself wondering if this is just leger de main by Richmond City Council to cover the costs of the $178 million Olympic Oval - which was never subjected to any public consultation.
Richmond council candidate Annie McKitrick says civic funds spent on the $178,000 Olympic speedskating oval is money that could be used elsewhere.
Council candidate Annie McKitrick says the books need to be opened on Richmond's $178 million Olympic oval because the public was never consulted.
"The decision to make a bid on the oval was made without community consultation," said McKitrick, a former school trustee who is running for council on Nov. 19.
"We have no idea what staff said to sell council behind closed doors. It is $118 million worth of funding which won't be used for other projects like affordable housing. There are concerns about cost overruns and revenues not meeting projections."link
I am reminded daily of Marie Antoinette's exhortation - Let them eat cake!
We truly live in a society gone mad with feeding on it's self.