February 23, 2021
For immediate release
Finding the Will to Build the Way for Economic Recovery and Affordable Housing.
The Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) members and our residential development industry are both Builders and Employers. We are a key part of the economic activity in this region directly and indirectly, and we are directly linked to the success of the post-COVID-19 recovery and growth plan.
The 2019/2020 Housing Industry Economic Benefits Infographic prepared by the Homebuilders Association Vancouver, released Monday, February 22, 2021, is based on data from the Canadian Home Builder’s Association. The report breaks down the number of jobs, the total in wages paid, and the direct investment value in each municipality, exclusive to the residential development and construction sector in Metro Vancouver.
As the report indicates, Metro-wide, the residential sector creates over 132,000 jobs, $8 billion in wages, and a combined investment value of $18.1 billion. Using two municipalities as an example; Maple Ridge sees over 5200 jobs, $316 million in wages, and $715 million in investment value, and the City of Vancouver generates over 38,000 jobs, $2.3 billion in wages, and $5.2 billion investment value. Add on the spin-off economies from people who live and work locally in their communities and the numbers will only grow exponentially.
With the new COVID-19 ‘work-from-home lifestyle’, and people’s desire for more space, combined with seniors wishing to age-in-place and millennials vying for an affordable place to call home, Metro Vancouver is faced with renewed pressure for affordable housing.
Living in a pandemic age, one only must look at the selling prices to see we are continuing in a housing crisis. Selling prices are well above pre-pandemic rates, noting Maple Ridge, on the fringe of Metro Vancouver is now a hotbed as well as Chilliwack, and Mission where housing prices have jumped over $100,000 in the past year alone, fueled by very strong demand and sharply increased construction costs.
‘Living in times of unrest, such as we are experiencing during this global pandemic, it might feel safer to pause, than to evoke change for solutions to our housing crisis, however, to put the brakes on a sector that has been able to work successfully throughout the pandemic while helping uphold our economy is a grave mistake. With so many other sectors crippled by COVID, it is imperative we look to find ways to improve our approval systems to deliver the housing our region needs, for our communities and their families to thrive’ said Ron Rapp, HAVAN, CEO.
Rapp continued ‘Yet, I continue to receive emails and calls each week from builders sharing their frustrations from job sites around Metro Vancouver. In one case a reputable builder is currently facing up to 16 weeks delay just to get an appointment to apply for a building permit, let alone submit one. That is a four-month line up to just get to the door.’
Barriers such as this put real pressure on the economy, and builders, as their staff face inevitable layoffs, and in extreme cases businesses close. Inhibiting builders to work spurs potential growth in the underground economy, as families opt to call that ‘friend’ causing additional harm to local governments losing millions in lost revenue, not to mention the increased risk to building safety.
One solution brought forward by HAVAN in the 2017 HAS Report, and successfully tested by the City of Vancouver, is an expedited lane for builders with a proven track record. Recognizing the increased pressures faced by everyone, including municipal building and permitting departments during Covid-19, it would only seem logical to enable systems to support those with experience and knowledge to help uphold our economy and deliver the housing stock required by our communities.
The residential construction industry is a positive socio-economic driver in our region. What we need now is political will, and a “can do” culture capable of navigating a path forward to allow for the Post-Covid-19 economic recovery through the means of advancing development and building permitting and approvals to deliver affordable housing choices for families and communities across Metro Vancouver.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Ron Rapp, HAVAN CEO 778-373-9780, firstname.lastname@example.org
Recognized as leaders in the homebuilding industry since 1974, HAVAN members include builders, developers, renovators, designers, suppliers, sub-trades, and leading professionals. We are an association of knowledgeable, trusted, resourceful and local professionals who build over 65% of Metro Vancouver’s homes.
HAVAN provides both industry and consumer education, opportunities to connect, and actively liaises with local municipal governments with the focus of meeting Metro Vancouver’s housing needs. A not-for-profit association, HAVAN is proudly affiliated with both the provincial CHBA BC, and national CHBA offices.