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Editorial: It's time for workforce housing on the North Shore

Rising assessments show the market has failed many people who simply want to live near where they work
Real Estate Values 2022 NV
A map showing increases in real estate values in North Vancouver by neighbourhood. Data provided by Landcor Data Corp.

Westlynn Terrace, 45 per cent. Deep Cove waterfront, 45 per cent. Grousewoods, 40 per cent. Is this vaccine booster coverage by neighbourhood? No, it’s astonishing rises in single-family home assessments.

It’s tremendous news for those cashing out, but it means entire swaths of the North Shore are off limits to all but the highest income earners and those with other sources of wealth.

Attorney General David Eby has suggested there will be no more tax measures incoming to help cool the market, and the province’s next strategy will be supply, and lots of it, especially rentals.

That could mean the province curtailing the ability of municipal councils to say no to new housing, which would have major reverberations for two of our councils who love to say no.

We are eager to see how these numbers will manifest themselves in the 2022 municipal campaign rhetoric. The North Shore has a history of electing mostly people who live in single-family homes who hand-wring about affordability but produce very little.

This time around, we want to see a host of candidates talking about not just more housing or slower growth. We need them to fall in love with the idea of workforce housing. Start with the basic concept that people who cut hair, drive buses and serve coffee should not be barred from living on this side of Burrard Inlet, and apply whatever policies are required to make room for them. These are people who deserve to live here and are essential to our quality of life, but they have been utterly failed by the market.

The alternative is banishing them to hellish commutes, or us getting used to the idea of home haircuts, and making our own Americanos.

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