First-time buyers who are contemplating a purchase in Vancouver must brace themselves for higher initial costs should city authorities enact a proposed bylaw concerning external wall thicknesses of some home types.
The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association cautioned that the approval of the scheme—which would mandate a one-and-a-half-inch increase in the current width of outside walls for new townhomes and buildings less than six storeys tall—will cost new buyers as much as an extra $15,000 per unit.
“What the City of Vancouver is offering is getting in the way of affordable housing for first time homebuyers and young families,” Association president Chris Gardner told CBC’s On the Coast. “They're adding on costs, and I think it's the wrong approach.”
Gardner added that the proposal, intended to provide more space for insulation, will have to ensure up to 120 years of energy savings for it to be cost-effective. He argued that input from the public is a must before the implementation of such a far-reaching regulatory revision.
“They're layering on costs and regulations and bylaws that are going to hurt first time homebuyers in the city,” Gardner stated. “If they're not talking to residents, if they're not talking to small business owners, to construction companies, they're not going to get the kind of feedback they need to develop policies that are going to work for the City of Vancouver.”
“[The City of Vancouver] is missing the point, and they're not doing anything to deal with the most pressing issue facing young families — and that's affordability.”
If approved, the changes could be enacted as early as March 2018.
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