The #DontHave1Million hashtag is spreading on Twitter, as people complain about being priced out of the housing market.
Don’t have $1 million for a house in Vancouver? Turns out you’re not alone.
A hashtag campaign created by 29-year-old Vancouverite Eveline Xia is encouraging priced-out urbanites to speak up about their home ownership woes by sharing their age and profession on Twitter.
The campaign, called #DontHave1Million, is attracting posts from engineers, planners and scientists, as well as real estate agents from other B.C. communities where housing is cheaper.
“Will never be able to afford living in the city I grew up in,” tweeted a business graduate.
“Every city everywhere in this country needs the people that keep it going,” added an industrial rigger and specialty mover.
“If only I could plant a money tree instead of bok choi, kale or mustard,” said another poster.
But others countered with posts calling the tweeters entitled.
“Don’t be foolish ... rent and invest instead,” said one.
“Buy within your means. Move to the burbs. Suck it up, buttercup,” said another.
Responding to critics of her campaign in a statement on Twitter, Xia said her generation is “not looking for a handout,” but rather “asking for a fighting chance to stay here in the city we love.”
Salaries have not kept pace with housing prices, she noted, and young, talented workers are beginning to leave in favour of communities where they can afford to buy a home for their families.
“To have a diverse, interesting and thriving community, Vancouver needs people like us to stay, work and raise our families here,” she said.
According to a VanCity report released in March, the average detached Vancouver home could cost $2.1 million by 2030.
“Although 75 per cent of Millennials think that home ownership is a primary long-term goal ... many will have to revise their goals to accommodate rising unaffordability in Metro Vancouver,” said the report.
Warning that if trends are not reversed, homes in the suburbs will also become increasingly unaffordable for people earning the median income, the report said a reversal would be possible through public policy and changes in financial practices.
Those using the #DontHave1Million hashtag expressed hope that the social media campaign would be the start of a “revolt” leading to change