Helmut Pastrick is the Chief Economist for Central 1 Credit Union, a position he has held for the past 20 years. Helmut leads the Economics department responsible for providing economic, housing, credit union financial analysis and forecasts to member credit unions. Prior to joining the Central 1 Credit Union, Helmut spent many years with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation analyzing and forecasting the housing market and economy.
Helmut’s perspective on housing supply and affordability:
When this opportunity to serve on the Housing Panel arose, I was honored and then humbled by the importance of the task at hand. The housing situation is severe in many B.C. markets. During my professional career, I have seen housing become more expensive and unaffordable to families and individuals especially in higher demand markets with land supply constraints. High housing costs impair household finances, affect the economy and change our society. Housing is a basic human shelter need that can largely be met by the private sector, but there is a necessary role for government that needs to be ongoing and sufficient to meet those not served by the market. Increasing housing supply to mitigate high housing prices and rents will require new commitments and approaches by all actors involved in the delivery of housing. Clearly, current policies, practices and attitudes in the provision of housing supply are lacking. In addition, demand-side measures are also necessary to address housing affordability. Easing housing affordability is a challenging task with no easy answer and many hurdles to overcome. All contributions to the Housing Panel can help address this long-standing problem.