City of Vancouver hires chief housing officer
The City of Vancouver has appointed a chief housing officer, who is set to begin work next month to deliver more affordable housing.
Mukhtar Latif, an international property consultant from the U.K., will be charged with helping to implement the recommendations of the mayor’s task force on housing affordability, and working with developers, not for profits, and provincial and federal agencies on housing.
According to a news release issued by the city today (September 10), Latif’s experience includes being “instrumental” in securing housing development funding through his consulting work with real estate services provider Savills.
He also has a background with not-for-profit housing associations, and has developed “a wide range of housing, from affordable rental to market-priced homes, including homes for the elderly, vulnerable, and those requiring care and support,” according to the city.
The appointment of a chief housing officer—a new position at city hall—stems from the mayor’s task force on housing affordability, which released its final report last year.
Latif will begin his work with the city in early October.
Sep 10, 2013 at 1:34pm
Any idea of how much he is being paid?
Sep 10, 2013 at 2:51pm
It is really easy to make housing "affordable" in Vancouver. All you do is say that $84,000 a year is low-income and $2000 a month is affordable.
Easy, isn't it?
Sep 10, 2013 at 3:38pm
maybe put in very punitive foreign ownership rules? no brainer. wonder why all our condo towers are sold out and empty? why keep building and selling them to foreign speculator/ money launderers? stop the bs. chief housing officer- hahahahaha what a joke.
Sep 10, 2013 at 8:04pm
The words "affordable housing" can no longer be used unless a
specific dollar amount is used.
Rick in Richmond
Sep 11, 2013 at 12:45am
Empty condos do not use police or fire services, ambulances or hospitals. They don't go to libraries, or clog our streets with cars. They don't send their children to school, nor use our ice arenas, swimming pools, or baseball diamonds. They don't demand bicycle lanes or dog parks.
They pay all of the taxes, but use none of the services.
Within reason -- and within proportion -- empty condos are actually an asset. They just sit there, using no public services of any kind. This saves the city a great deal of money every year.
The trick is to figure out the right balance. No one has done it yet, but the logic seems unassailable.
Sep 11, 2013 at 7:06am
rick, a touch defensive.
is an empty condo an asset for a vibrant city--no, it's a ghetto. would you go to paris if nobody lived there?
Johan A. MacDonaldski
Sep 11, 2013 at 7:56am
Great. My tax dollars will go to a new bureaucrat's salary and to fund housing for poor folks, while I still can't afford to buy a home and save for retirement.
Thanks Moonbeam. Nothing new.
Sep 11, 2013 at 8:45am
Rick - I agree that it is about balance. It's pretty obvious to most of us that the Vancouver market is very out of balance at the moment. Even with record-low interest rates, affordability is at historic lows.
Under conditions such as these, it makes sense to put in temporary restrictions on investor and foreign purchases.
Sep 11, 2013 at 8:46am
all true....which is why they like a fully owned, empty city. that being said........when families cant afford to live here-they pack up and move to cities where they can. firms cant hire people to work here as housing costs are way to high. its bad for the city, bad for families, bad for firms. gregor should stop pretending he wants affordable housing and admit that all they care about is property tax revenue.
Rick in Richmond
Sep 11, 2013 at 11:03am
Michael makes a good and essential point. The real issue is balance, and proportion.
There is no law that can force anyone to live in his condo when he would rather live at his summer cottage for three months, or in Arizona for six. It would be ridiculous, and unconstitutional.
Foreign investment control law is federal, and first deems ownership questions to be in "the national interest". Empty condos in Coal Harbour do not meet this first test.
The vast majority of land owners at Point Roberts are Canadian. They live there, perhaps, six weeks a year. Are Americans entitled to force them into 12-month living, or to divest? Of course not.
The answer, as always, will lie in taxation. At the point when the incentive to occupy (rent, lease, whatever) is greater than the incentive to allow to remain empty, the condos will fill up.
Right now, empty condos are merely a capital gain waiting to be realized. And there is nothing remotely illegal about that.
Our grandparents cannot be forced to occupy their Palm Beach condos either.