There has been much buzz about Mega Homes and the “cultural divide” in Surrey. The city is conflicted with the dilemma of racism and political votes. It is true that on one hand you have a culture with extended families living under one roof and on the other a simple nuclear family. This has led to an inconsistent makeup of neighbourhoods. Not to mention it looks ugly. What can be done to reach a compromise?
It is quite simple actually. The harsh enforcement of illegal suites is the answer. Without the ability to rent a suite, the spare floor area can be transferred over to living. The extra square footage demanded by mega home builders is close to the amount of floor area in a rental suite. It will be difficult, however, to convince a group who has become accustomed to the revenue to make cuts. Well, too bad. It’s illegal anyways.
What’s the economic loss/benefit? There’s the obvious operating loss for enforcement. The supply of rental suites also drops, leading to increased rental rates. However, benefits include fines to make up some of the enforcement costs and more construction (economic activity) to supply lost rental suites. In the end, you may pay a little cost for better looking neighbourhoods.
If nothing is done, expect more segregation. Let’s create a world where cultures can live harmoniously together, the way Canada is supposed to be. This means we have to enforce some laws to enforce these values.