Told in six parts, Charles Wilkinson’s documentary Vancouver: No Fixed Address discusses the ‘housing‘crisis’ in said city.
Interviews with David Suzuki, George Robertson (Vancouver Mayor), regular Vancouverites, economists, and new residents from China paint a picture of the beauty of the city — what attracts people to move here. Vancouver offers a spectacular view, if you can afford it. Real estate prices have risen so much, people have been forced to sell their longtime homes and move out of the city. The ‘new normal’ includes people living in their cars, on the street, and in commune-like houses.
There are many reasons why there is a ‘housing crisis’. Natural resources are pretty much used up. The economy in Vancouver has changed – it is now real estate. These days, the city receives major offshore investments; primarily from China. There is obviously more at play here in terms of who is approving these investments, and only those that can afford it (or get in debt) get to live in a decent home.
Income inequality is pretty stark in Vancouver. The Mayor, George Robertson, says he keeps looking for options to get money for affordable housing. Younger people are opting to live in co-housing arrangements, laneways, and maybe even moving around more. David Suzuki however, says it plainly, “I’m staying… this is home.”
Vancouver: No Fixed Address tries to give us a complex view at this very complex issue. An issue that is not only affecting Vancouver, but other Canadian cities, such as Toronto. The film offers no opposing points of view; perhaps Wilkinson could not find anyone to defend the real estate boom. As well, there are no solutions per se.
The film tries to cover a lot of ground (pun intended) in a short amount of time. It would be worth to see more time dedicated to some community efforts highlighted in the film. The six parts that define the film could be explained in more detail — perhaps as a short series versus a 75-minute film. What is clear from the film is that the ‘housing crisis’ is very real and complex, and unfortunately, no real solutions appear to be on the horizon.
- Release Date: 5/18/2017