BC Business Magazine - - Contents - By Melissa Ed­wards

More than two-thirds of renters in Van­cou­ver are con­sid­er­ing skip­ping town

67% That’s the share of renters in a 2017 City of Van­cou­ver hous­ing sur­vey who said they didn’t know if they would still be in the city in three to five years. Once next year’s 4 per cent al­low­able rent hike takes ef­fect in B.C. (and ren­ovic­tions and lease re­newals push av­er­age rents even higher), help-wanted signs will grow dustier as street-level busi­nesses chase the in­creas­ingly rare soul who can af­ford to live on a cook’s wages. “Van­cou­ver is a dif­fer­ent beast,” says Josh Gor­don, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at SFU’S School of Pub­lic Pol­icy and a speaker on hous­ing at the re­cent Union of B.C. Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties con­fer­ence. In most cities, busi­ness and wage growth drive pop­u­la­tion in­fluxes and shel­ter short­ages, but Van­cou­ver’s rental mar­ket is dis­con­nected from the un­der­ly­ing econ­omy, Gor­don notes. “It’s a big is­sue,” he says. “It be­comes hard for busi­nesses to ex­pand, and the dy­namic po­ten­tial of the city’s econ­omy de­clines.”

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