High cost of housing driving out students; Home prices cited as key reason families leave Vancouver school district

Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver’s high cost of housing is being cited as the major reason families are pulling their kids out of schools, a new survey from the Vancouver school board shows.

The purpose of the report is to pinpoint the cause of Vancouver School District’s declining enrolment…..

The majority of the responses say their child will attend a public school outside of Vancouver, diffusing a hypothesis that students transferred to independent schools following the 2011-2012 job action.

About 575 parents have been asked to complete the survey this year and about 150 responses have been received to date. A more thorough analysis will be done this fall, when more responses have been received, the report states….

The district also surveyed Vancouver families with preschool children in a bid to find out what would keep them in Vancouver when their kids reach school age.

“What we’ve heard loud and clear is that they want child care in a school,” Lombardi said, adding that he would like to see before and after school care in every elementary school.

“Parents are working and they don’t work nine to three. People tell us their second highest cost as a family is child care, after their mortgage.”

Brent Toderian, planning consultant at Toderian UrbanWorks and former director of city planning for Vancouver, said it’s important for cities to have family-friendly building policies.

“Kids are the indicator species of a great neighbourhood,” Toderian said, adding that while Vancouver does require that major new developments have one-quarter of their units with at least two bedrooms, there is no requirement for more family friendly three-bedroom suites.

He also noted that 52 per cent of Vancouverites rent their homes….