Monday, June 4, 2007

Affordable housing in Vancouver? Is it possible?

Recently I read a news story that said in order to afford a single-family house in Vancouver, you need to be pulling in at least $140,000 a year.


Now, my husband and I are both university-educated people. He's got a double B.A., I've got an M.A. And yet despite working at good jobs and being on steadily rising career arcs for the past decade, we're not even close to making that kind of money.

Sure, we could afford a two-bedroom or even a small three-bedroom condo. In the middle of nowhere. Where the most exciting recreational pastime is loitering at the local strip mall. Whee!

Given our options, we've preferred to stick it out as renters, tolerating the mismatched linoleum floors and crumbling walls of our beloved tear-down rental home in order to continuing living in the neighbourhood we love -- within a few blocks' walking distance to every conceivable amenity.

And as a result, here we are, without a home to truly call our own, with a dog and an almost two-year-old, and both of us 37 years old.

Welcome to life in Vancouver, y'all!

That why -- when our friends Daddy L and P suggested we seriously explore our oft-expressed desire to join moral and economic forces and build a eco-density friendly duplex both our families could live in, the Pirate and I jumped for joy.

We've got no problem living close to our neighbours -- so long as they're good ones. And Daddy L and P? They'd be real humdingers.

BUT: With all the stress and potential conflict involved in two different families agreeing on a place to live -- the neighborhood, house or reno plans, the layout of the yard, not to mention the big "M" (moolah, my dears) -- will our friendship survive?

Will our dream of affordable housing in Vancouver ever be realized?

We'll keep you posted...

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