New Westminster's approach to housing affordability off base
Re: City seeks to protect rental housing (NewsLeader, Feb. 8)
While New Westminster city council's motive may be true, legislating things like a strata's right to restrict rental of condo units will not solve the problem of inadequate availability of rental housing.
What that will encourage is more wealthy investors to purchase multiple units so they can rent them out and profit, thereby driving up the cost of condos and once again excluding young families from being able to afford to own a condo.
As a result, it will increase the number of renters. It's a vicious cycle, a Catch-22, something not addressed in council's efforts.
The biggest single problem in Vancouver and North America is that it is housing-for-profit. Some wealthy individuals own multiple and even dozens of units, driving others out from home ownership by bidding up the prices. Some offshore investors own many condos and homes here but are only allowed one by law in their country of birth.
There are certain elements of society where for-profit is in direct conflict of interest with the citizen. A real estate investor wishing to maximize profits can be in direct conflict with someone who wants a nice home.
Until larger elements of the problem are addressed, attempts by city councils to micro-manage rental and real estate markets will fail.