The building where I lived in my twenties on East Pender Street in Vancouver, BC, was apparently the result of a subsidized rental program of the 1960s and 70s.
The building was old by the time I lived there, a four storey walk up, not much from the outside, but roomy inside, big windows, lots of light. It had hardwood floors, tiled backsplashes, and a seafoam green bathtub. I could afford the rent — even though I worked for an environmental group, going door to door, collecting donations and signatures, and earned less than $200 a week.
In her blog, Frances Bula talks about the descendant of the program responsible for my walk-up which aims to offer building subsides to developers creating rental units. It’s called Short Term Incentives for Rental (STIR) and it’s not without controversy.
Detractors say builders don’t need breaks on parking or development-cost levies, and many don’t like that it was brought to council without any public consultation.
Bula argues that “if developers thought they could make a profit on building rentals, they would have done it long ago.”
Check out what she has to say on the issue in her article in the Globe and Mail.