From Toronto to Sydney and from San Francisco to London the cost of housing in cities around the world is skyrocketing. This film takes an uncompromising look at the drama unfolding in one such city, where multi-ethnic citizens fight to preserve homes as living spaces instead of global financial commodities. It is also a story about the very idea of home and what promotes or destroys one’s sense of belonging. It is the story of a city and a people struggling to cope with the strange and often threatening economic and social forces emerging globally at the start of the 21st century.
Our story takes place in Vancouver, Canada – consistently ranked in the top five cities on Earth to live. It’s a place that elicits deep affection, even love from most of its residents. A city with unparalleled natural beauty, a relatively clean environment, safe streets, stable institutions, and an attitude that prioritizes lifestyle over work. In short; paradise.
But this is also a story of the people forced by high prices to live on the streets, people who live in substandard conditions, people who struggle to hang on to the homes they have. It’s also the story of our housing casino and those cashing in on the meteoric rise in housing values. In other words, it’s a story most of us are involved in.
Director Charles Wilkinson and producers Tina Schliessler and Kevin Eastwood (the team behind Haida Gwaii: On The Edge Of The World and Oil Sands Karaoke) have assembled a group of residents deeply affected by the housing boom, as well as a number of key influencers in the city including Mayor Gregor Robertson, Musqueam playwright Quelamia Sparrow, Condo King Bob Rennie, Senator Pau Yuen, and activist David Suzuki.
This feature documentary examines the common issues at work within the global housing bubble – arguments debated in London, New York, Toronto, Melbourne and the many more cities worldwide experiencing astronomical, often inexplicable increases in real estate values. It’s a story people everywhere are concerned about. Everywhere a wide array of opinions are put forward as to what hidden forces might be at play. Vancouver: No Fixed Address delves beneath the headlines and rumours and comes to some unsettling conclusions about home – a place we thought we knew.