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Letter: Cutting out avocado toast won't suddenly make Burnaby housing affordable

A young Burnaby resident is fed up with being lectured by older Burnaby house owners.
avocado toast
A Burnaby resident says cutting out items like avocado toast won't help young people afford a house. Getty Images


Re: If young people want to buy a Burnaby house, don’t spend so frivolously, NOW Letters

If I read one more misinformed, bad-faith opinion on how young people just need to cut down on frivolous spending to afford a house, I'm going to vomit.

It is frustrating to see comfortably housed individuals continue to make claims about housing affordability that are so fundamentally flawed and easily disprovable.

In 1980, the average pre-tax income in greater Vancouver was $13,700, not adjusted for inflation, according to StatsCan. Today, it is $52,600, an increase of about four=fold. In the same time period, property values have increased anywhere from 10 to 20 times.

There is no amount of saving on avocado toast or trips to Mexico that will close this gap. There is no way the math works for a young working family. Even with low interest rates, family homes are well beyond the reach of most families who don't have generational wealth.

We could dismiss these opinions as ramblings of a grumpy ignorant crank, except they have real world consequences.

Most of Burnaby is still zoned for the most luxurious form of housing: the detached house.

We badly need to allow denser forms of housing in these neighbourhoods if we want families to stay in the community they grew up in. But older, wealthier, comfortably housed residents provide the vast majority of responses to development applications and rezoning decisions, and have no interest in making housing more affordable for those who didn't have the good fortune of being born 30 years earlier. 

Let's try to have some more facts in our discussion rather than tired, offensive and badly misinformed tropes.

Christian Sampaleanu, Burnaby