Monday, February 23, 2009

Social housing at Olympic Village to cost $595,000 per unit

Barry Artiste Op/Ed

I have written more than a few stories on this Beached Whale of a Project. Funny how Math works when you are a politician, they say these shoebox condos are $600,000 per unit for each homeless person, when the real cost is 2 million dollars per unit. Then when you take into consideration the surrounding land in which his homeless uptopia is being built around that is another 252 million.  OOHH and the maintenance contractor to maintain the buildings will run close to 200 millions dollars. It may be a Leeds Gold Building, once built, but once the Homeless and Druggies move in, the Leeds Status will soon be removed as they put their own personal stamp on these units, such a railroad spikes to hold up towels, shopping carts in their units, and graffitti etc.

So you see when a 1 billion dollar price tag is stated, these units true cost is close to 4 million dollars for 600 square foot luxury walk in closet with a view.

But dont tell politicians that, cause truth hurts, and for Vancouver taxpayers who will pay for all this for generations to come it will really, really hurt.  So take 252 units and divide it into a billion dollars and see if you come up with $600,000? Can't be done, unless your Math Wiz Mayor Gregor Robertson, maybe it is Municipal councillors Wacky Math skills which go us into this mess in the first place when they said a couple of years back the entire project would only cost a couple of hundred million.

Where’s bankruptcy court? I want to get in line.

Not because I’m actually going broke. I’m just thinking it might be a way to move closer to Vancouver’s downtown waterfront.

Yes, I’m musing about getting on the Olympic Athletes’ Village social housing list. It’s quite the deal.

A few days ago, I had a tour of the $1-billion Olympic village. Sadly, I’ll never afford the $6-million penthouses. But the City of Vancouver’s brain trust has managed to build us some of the slickest social housing on the planet.

As you may have heard, Vancouver’s taxpayers now face a $110-million bill for 252 units of “affordable housing.” That’s $77 million over budget — or about $436,000 a unit.

But it’s more, really. Add in the approximately $40 million in free city land and you can pretty much count on Olympic social housing costing $595,000 apiece, or about $540 a square foot. That’s at least double normal cost.

As you might expect, our Olympic social housing is something to behold. I viewed a south-facing, one-bedroom on the ground floor, with 12-foot ceilings and panoramic windows looking out onto a street 100 metres from the water.

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