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Anne__Ominous • 6 months ago

If it weren't for the housing affordability crisis more people would be able to have emergency funds set aside. Tenants would be able to pay their rent for a month or two and landlords would not be so dependent on their secondary suites to pay the mortgage. But this crisis has been allowed to grow unchecked and the ability to save for a rainy day has been eliminated as people have had just enough to get by after paying their rent.

Gordie • 6 months ago

The whole economy is like a house of cards, and Covid-19 has pulled out the bottom card. For example, my gym is closed but the gym still charges me my monthly dues. WTF? But if the gym owner stops charging dues, then he can't pay rent, then his landlord can't cover their expenses, and so on.

Governments have racked up incredible debts over the years without being able to pay down a cent, and now that debt level is skyrocketing. How are governments going to get out of debt?

Dr. Bonnie Henry is saying that things won't get back to normal until a vaccine is found. Well, what if a vaccine cannot be developed? What then? And even if a vaccine is developed, it is expected to take 12-18 months, at least. What are personal and government debt levels doing to look like by then?

Everything is really f&%d up right now! I no longer have confidence in the "officials" to stickhandle us through this. In fact, I've tuned them out.

Andrew Mitchell • 6 months ago

totally agree. the left of center approach of paying for things on the federal credit card is coming back to roost. Government has made bad choices and individuals are also making bad choices. When we have <1% GDP growth in "good" times, this is not a good sign. Having a large population be less than 1 paycheque away from not being able to pay their bills is not a good sign. COVID has shown how thin the knife-edge is for many people, especially those linked to small businesses (as an owner or employee).

bailey22 • 6 months ago

There are a lot of large employers who's industries have gone down after the closure. No matter the size of the operation, all businesses need cash flow to survive these times. Airline industries have laid off by the thousands, many cities laying off staff, cutting public transportation employees etc.

RickW • 6 months ago

Are you perchance suggesting the Harper government was left-of-centre:
https://ipolitics.ca/2015/0...
Having a large population be less than 1 paycheque away from not being able to pay their bills is not a good sign.
This is called "just-in-time" lifestyle - something we've taken to be the greater efficiency in the business world. So why should it not also apply to individuals?
https://www.tradegecko.com/...

Andrew Mitchell • 6 months ago

Not at all. Current PM and his finance wizards can't seem to figure out how to not go $30B in the hole per year when Canada was apparently "doing well" during his 1st term in office. Granted Harper didn't fare any better coming out of the 2008 crash and subsequent years piled on the deficits as well. What this shows is how the feds have not produced the kind of business environment that would help drive the economy forward for several years now. Now we are going billions into the hole due to COVID. All the delays for investment projects that robbed jobs and robbed $$ from provincial and federal coffers. Now we have very little room to maneuver.

RickW • 6 months ago

Seems then that we've had a succession of governments, both federal and provincial, that have not served us well in their single-minded quest to shovel funds to respective business favorites, in their fervour to adhere to the "trickle down" dogma.

Andrew Mitchell • 6 months ago

I am not sure about how the government has been promoting any kind of "trickle down" policies. They have tightened tax policy and in some cases increased tax rates, but unfortunately have spent exorbitant funds on the likes of PM pay raises, funding public sector pensions, Phoenix pay system debacle, etc. The average Canadian is not getting better off. The polarizing 1% is not better off either as a result of recent tax policy changes as well. The electorate should have much better accountability from gov't than they do for all of the excess spending, but unfortunately I think the electorate doesn't seem to care as long as the programs they care about continue to get funding.

Hakuin • 6 months ago

What is it about the gym industry that they all seem to be shysters and thieves?

disqus_Wf91wKMTsJ • 6 months ago

Lots of gullible resolutionists.

Hakuin • 6 months ago

Yeahbut, that’s just the supply of marks, why do the gym owners have to be such greedy douchebags? They could still make a living without stealing, couldn’t they?

Rational Centrist • 6 months ago

How are they stealing exactly?

Hakuin • 6 months ago

Read the post by Gordie I was replying to.

phodgson • 6 months ago

Trevor Linden? Somehow I think he might drive a ten year old vw.

EdHend • 6 months ago

I guess if they can get you to sign up to something that has tricky clauses in it, they will. They would rather drive around in a new Porsche at their customers expense than a 10 yr old VW.

RickW • 6 months ago

What is it about attendees to said gyms, who love $8 (and still terrible-tasting) coffees in disposables cups?
Reaffirms the old saw, a "sucker born every minute"?

WWallace Mud • 6 months ago

All the money flows back to the bank's shareholders...every rent, mortgage, etc all ends up going back into the pockets of the rich. The Bankers and Billionaires Club will continue drinking extra dry martinis paid for by the sweat of rest of us. The government will not save us, they are owned by the rich, only when people refuse to be pawns of this criminal system and refuse to comply will it be overthrown. Just ignore the overlords, they don't have enough cops to enforce their tyranny...

Frank_inBC • 6 months ago

Landlords need their rent or the house of cards (as Gordie put it) begins to fall apart. So if the government bails out renters it will also bail out landlords and the status quo is maintained.

Otherwise renters don't pay and landlords fall behind on their mortgages and have to put their properties up for sale causing the real estate market to deflate. By how much, we don't know.

I'm just glad I'm neither a renter nor a landlord with a mortgage.

RickW • 6 months ago

"Neither a renter nor a landlord be." - Updating Hamlet.

JuHoansi • 6 months ago

From Kevin Milligan:
“The economy is not set up for people to take stuff for free — in the
same way that the right way to handle people who are short of money for
food is to give them money to go buy food, rather than allow them to go
and take food from the grocery store without paying.”

The problem with pointy headed bureaucrats like Milligan is that this analogy fails to consider the difference between food and rent. You don't rent food, and you don't rent food in advance of the month. Food is also more affordable and relatively abundant. There are food banks for those who fall through the cracks, not so for housing. Lots of people I know don't qualify for any government aid since they were not working before the pandemic or did not make enough income in 2019. Instead of advocating for a tattered patchwork of targeted aid packages which people like Milligan should have known would not cover everyone, Milligan should have been advocating for a universal UBI regardless of personal circumstances.

The 'right way to handle' this crisis can be found in Denmark, where they did essentially freeze the economy. No rents, no mortgages until the pandemic is over. They didn't 'defer', they froze.

Landlords should learn to pay their own damn mortgages anyway, instead of forcing poor people to pay it for them.

Andrew Mitchell • 6 months ago

How is an economist a bureaucrat? Economists describe the market conditions. "Landlords should learn to pay their own damn mortgages"...how about renters should learn to save the money they are not paying in property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance in order to pay the rent they are contracted to pay. If it was not for landlords who own houses with rental suites, the rental stock would be much smaller and prices likely much higher due to lack of supply....which goes back to economics

JuHoansi • 6 months ago

If an economist is being paid as a consultant to advise the government, he becomes a bureaucrat.

And please explain how renters should save money when earning low wages and paying high rents? You've obviously never rented. If it wasn't for landlords, renters could actually own their own places. Let's stop pretending that landlords are somehow doing renters a favor. Give me a break with this crap.

Andrew Mitchell • 6 months ago

not sure how your math would add up. like if there were no landlords then renters could own their places? landlords charge what the market will bear. If you don't like the rent, live somewhere else. it's not an entitlement. Either work harder, change your job to earn more, get a 2nd job so you can buy your own place and stop paying those evil landlords. If it wasn't for landlords, like 50% of people would not have a place to live so it's not the landlords' fault that rents are what they are. How about complain to the CoV about why new development projects don't include enough non-market rental units? Or why they can't get any traction with the province for lower income housing?

RickW • 6 months ago

In any given area of the country (Vancouver for example) level the playing field by prohibiting all jobs that do not pay enough wages to afford rent.

bailey22 • 6 months ago

Isn't that exactly what's happening in this pandemic shutdown? Government ordered the shutdown of businesses that have the lowest-wage workers i.e. retail, waiters/waitresses, hotel cleaning staff etc. Now they can't pay rent..... How is this going to end?

RickW • 6 months ago

Goes to show that the near-complete lack of choice in even crap jobs anywhere but Vancouver doesn't work. Where is the job diversification so that people aren't forced to work in areas where they cannot live?
I have to correct one small error - close down the businesses that won't pay enough to allow employees to live where they work (and play). They have a choice to move somewhere, where the rent for employees is affordable, or pay better wages.
The idea is for the $8 coffee crowd to not be served by crap wage workers.
PS I know this wouldn't work - but no one has any incentive to change the present structure - and we will head back to the same old when this scourge is over.
The best word I can come up with to describe governments even with the best intents is "lick-spittle".

bailey22 • 6 months ago

I was horrified when I read what many businesses are/were forking over for commercial rental space as well. Restaurants paying fifteen to twenty THOUSAND $$ rentals - even smaller hair salons and nail salons paying ten or twelve thousand dollars a month! (cough*) Unbelievable and again - one more reason the employees stay at minimum wage.

phodgson • 6 months ago

My daughter pays 2700 for her flower shop by city hall. Restaurants with a stunning location well worth 15 to 20 thousand a month.

2010krank • 6 months ago

If landlords were able to pay their mortgages I guess they wouldn’t have to have tenants and the housing availability would even tighter. Maybe people should stop moving to Vancouver it gets tiresome listening to them complain about the high cost of housing while working at a job that pays minimum.

Keith Montgomery • 6 months ago

I agree to an extent. I do wonder why why normal income people still seem to flock here every year. A quick google and you know the housing issues. But where i disagree is CoVid has highlighted how much we need the "ordinary" people to clean our hospitals, drive cabs, pour coffees, and take our food orders from waterfront restaurant patios while we enjoy the "bestest EVER place on earth". And yet you are suggesting all these complainers should pack their things and move to a cheaper city. How do you square that circle?

RickW • 6 months ago

Brilliant idea! Just have to offer up the opportunity for people to move to other areas of the country, where they can make a living.
Lemme see now -- where would these places be.....?

2010krank • 6 months ago

Plenty of places where incomes are higher and housing is less expensive. Many parts of Ontario (Kitchener/Guelph/Waterloo area) is one. People, especially younger ones with no marketable skills come to “Van” for the lifestyle as do people who move to the Okanagan.

Lindsey Anna B • 6 months ago

True. But it's also hard for those of us that grew up on the coast, have family and friends here, and still can't afford it (unless said family has the means or resources to pass on to help with things like education, housing etc). My husband and I are both from 'working class families' who paid for our educations ourselves, and thus moved away to try to lower costs, but then had to return to care for aging family. In adding insult to injury, the 'gig' employment situation has additionally made gaining stable and reliable employment more difficult to pay for the high cost of living. But many small towns (where I am originally from) are not the 'greener pasture' per se, as there is often little to rent there as well , and without the aforementioned stable and proportionate employment to support the mortgages (housing prices have gone up in many small towns as well).

Rational Centrist • 6 months ago

Why not move to the interior if one can't afford to live in the lower mainland? No one has an explicit right to live here, in one of the most expensive places in the world - if someone doesn't have the skills to earn enough to live here then they can move🤷🏼‍♂️

RickW • 6 months ago

That's no different than the Lt. Governor of Texas saying old people should volunteer to die so the economy can open up.
If you bothered to study the demographics of BC, you would see that there are virtually NO jobs outside the Lower Mainland where there is dependable work and accommodations for thousands.
People like you need to be put on an iceflow, if you are that obtuse.
https://www.youtube.com/wat...

JuHoansi • 6 months ago

They could still have tenants, they would just have extra money from rents. Stop pretending that landlords are somehow doing tenants a favor.

People have already stopped moving to Vancouver because of the high cost of living. In fact, more and more people are moving out of Vancouver. As long as wages remain low and housing costs are high, you're going to have to listen to people complain about it. Sorry. Why don't you help fix the problem, instead of complaining about other people complaining?

Rational Centrist • 6 months ago

Look, of course it can be pricey for someone working minimum wage to afford to live in downtown Vancouver - but that's not so surprising, is it? You wouldn't expect a New York barista to live in a gleaming Manhattan tower either - one has to earn a lot more to live in those places. If someone doesn't have the skills to make enough $ to afford to live in Van they can move to New West, Surrey, or anywhere else that's cheaper. Lots of young families moving out to the interior because they can afford a home with a backyard for the kids. Those are the choices we all have to make - might want to get used to it instead of advocating for another hand out, like UBI.

kilgoretrout91 • 6 months ago

For real though, Milligan did not answer the question at all.
The question is: should banks and REITs get to profiteer off of debt interest accrued when people defer their housing payments?

His analogy about "giving people money to buy food", means that taxpayers should bailout private interests, not the other way around.

ryanonthevedder • 6 months ago

Being a landlord is like being in business. There are no guaranteed profits in business so plan accordingly or sell. .

dda • 6 months ago

I would recommend applying for the CERB benefit from the federal government. It's $2,000./mo. and taxable, but it appears to 'help' in maintaining at least that amount of income for 4 mos (starting in march with possible extensions). The eligibility requirements are pretty 'fluid' right now (and constantly being improved, in large part as a result of NDP/Green and Bloc input). Anyone receiving benefits should be continuing to pay their rent. That's what it's for. In some cases, those receiving the $2,000/mo were not making even that much pre-Covid.
It's good to see the light being shone on the many societal/economic inequities we face as a result of this pandemic, but, are there resources there to solve them all? Aren't we still faced with the same greedy components who look to 'benefit' to improve their bottom lines. i.e. the o/g industry who want taxpayers to make up for their balance sheet shortfalls?
This is not a time to settle for "trickle down" anything. I fully support what I've heard Singh say - we should secure the health and safety (including economic) of our most vulnerable first.
My advice for the vulnerable (including the 'housing challenged') is to apply for whatever you can, you'll either be approved or not...and remember that it is (for now) considered taxable income. It's a very fluid situation.
So far there's still nothing for low income seniors - aside from the $300. gst 'bump' that everyone received.

LadyJanice • 6 months ago

I wonder how many low income seniors like me were surprised to get that $300 extra from gst and put it aside for savings?

dda • 6 months ago

I bought good groceries and a new mop! At my age, life is short - I thought I'd 'live it up'!

bailey22 • 6 months ago

Good for you! A couple years back, after living very meager, I finally got some money back that I had to fight over for a couple years. When I got it I said "No more no-name soup for me! it's brand-name only now!" Cheers to living large!

dda • 6 months ago

Large, indeed. Poverty is beyond the comprehension of many. And I've had a "jawb" since I was about 10 years old...

LadyJanice • 6 months ago

I do not know if after all these years of living frugally I can take the risk of living large. A bad start in life, some happy times, but leaving boarding school at 15 with no qualifications with the sum total of two pounds and starting in an office job on the very bottom rung, paying most of my wages to my foster parents for board and lodging did make my early years a bit of a struggle and it has stayed with me ever since.

puppyg • 6 months ago

I'll bet that your entrenched frugality is now serving you well. No killer mortgage, I hope, nor high-maintenance toys. Living large is a bit like drinking... making a thing of it - lots and only the best - may be fun for awhile, but is one of the easier paths to self-ruin. I celebrate thrift and find joy in reusing a scrap of wood or finding treasure in a thrift shop. Thrift is 'cool'. It wasn't always so, but it sure feels right these days. I wish you fun.

LadyJanice • 6 months ago

It has paid off in the end and living within my means is so good. I can afford quality food, I never eat junk food or drink and I can out-walk most of my friends. Sadly although most of them are years younger, many of them have gone. :-(

dda • 6 months ago

I'm missing Value Village as a place to replace my junk with someone else's! I rarely buy "new".
My parents 'grew up' during the depression. Nothing gets 'wasted'.

Hakuin • 6 months ago

Pender Island Nu-to-Yu represent!

dda • 6 months ago

Well, I hope you're healthy and safe and in a secure space Now.