High housing costs and frustration with transportation is forcing many to evaluate if it's even worth staying in Metro Vancouver, according to a new poll by Angus Reid Institute.
About a fifth of the 821 residents surveyed said their housing and transport options aren't good enough, and of that portion, 85 per cent were seriously thinking about leaving the region to find better options.
"These people are younger, they are university educated, they have children, and they are really struggling in their commutes, in their ability to access the housing market or manage the costs of getting into the housing market," said Shachi Kurl, senior vice-president.
"There really is a need to pause and think about... this region could risk losing a significant segment of people because of experiences they are having around housing and transportation."
The online survey was carried out from June 1 to 3 among 821 Metro Vancouver adults. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Those surveyed were broken down into four segments — the happy, the comfortable, the uncomfortable and the miserable — based on their experiences.
It's not clear what is driving up housing prices in Canada and there is much speculation that it's because of flipping and foreign investments. Kurl said all the groups want more hard evidence.
"They are all in majority agreement that government does have a role to play here and they would like to see more data collection."
'We are going to do everything we can'
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says he is going to push federal candidates in this fall's election to focus on housing affordability and transit issues.
"We are going to do everything we can to get housing built that meets the needs of our residents," Robertson said at a keynote speech on Wednesday.
The mayor also spoke broadly about leveraging city-owned land to bring down the costs of housing and increasing density by zoning for more townhouses and three-bedroom condos so families could stay in Vancouver.
He also spoke about a speculation tax, that is, targeting people who buy properties and then flip them for profit — an idea B.C. Premier Christy Clark has already thrown cold water on.
"She's not jumping at the opportunity with the speculation tax, but I am looking forward to hearing what the province will do, because we need them to take action," said Robertson.