WEDNESDAY MARCH 7, 2018 / 6:30 PM / BURNABY NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE
(4460 Beresford Street, 3rd floor – across from the Metrotown Skytrain Station)
Metro Vancouver is experiencing a housing crisis. The crisis is commonly presented as the inability of citizen-taxpayer-professionals to own a home in Vancouver because of skyrocketing real estate prices. The most frequently heard explanation for the crisis is out-of-control foreign investment and hyper-speculation, an idea that has moved from the fringe to the mainstream over the past few years. And the foreigners most often identified as the agents of the crisis are Chinese investors.
We think that the foreign investment explanation is highly problematic. It erases the settler colonial history of this place with its ongoing theft of land and dispossession of Indigenous people. And it treats the housing crisis as an exception within an otherwise stable system, silencing any critique of global capital and producing solutions that evade rather than centre the interests of those who experience the housing crisis at its most violent level—poor, homeless, non-citizen, and Indigenous communities.
For many reasons, we believe the foreign investment story is a myth that has come to feel like common sense because it stitches together the cultural crisis experienced by disappointed homeowners with the political-economic crisis of Provincial and Municipal governments. At this panel we want to challenge the foreign investment discourse, analyze the foundations of the housing crisis, and develop a vision for housing justice that is not based on private property ownership.