What Now, My Love?

In this morning’s paper, Tony Gioventu, Executive Director for the Condominium Home Owners’ Association (CHOA), responded to a inquiry. Something he wrote struck a note. In 2016, CHOA did a survey of 16 buildings in Vancouver to identify impact on housing affordability, occupancy and rental bylaws. Here is a quote from his response:

“A 2017 update of the data has not indicated any substantial shift in the data, but there is one significant impact that several strata councils identified. By maintaining their rental bylaws, they have built communities with lower transiency in both tenancy and ownership and have been capable of maintaining the integrity of the nature of their communities.

Our community comprises of individual townhouses. It is not a multi-storey apartment building where “rental bylaws” impact residency, turnover, and speculative investing, (Rental restrictions have not been an issue with us.) But the highlighted statement above, interestingly, describes HW to a “t”: Since inception in 1978 (41 years ago) HW has successfully “maintained the integrity of the nature of our community“.

Nonetheless, the events at the last Special General meeting deserve some evaluation and of course, so goes the title: “What now, my love?”

Last February 22, I wrote about Embracing the Process of Change and what it takes to succeed with goals and objectives, quoting Harvard Business Review resources. The chart illustrating The Change Process is again shown below.

The short question to ask therefore is, “Where are we now?” What did we learn from what took place last August 30th? How far ahead are we today after so much hard work by several members of our community and members of our council during the last six months? Where does all this take us? Have we become victims of the “Ghosts of the past”?

Here is re-quoting Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s words from the article she wrote in the HBR:

  • “The ghosts of the past are always lying in wait to haunt us. As long as everything is steady state, they remain out of sight. But the minute you need cooperation for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action. Old wounds reopen, historic resentments are remembered — sometimes going back many generations. Leaders should consider gestures to heal the past before sailing into the future.

Socrates had this to say:

Examining what took place since the new council began their tenure and up to this minute, and looking at the “timeline” above (The Change Process chart), where are we today?

More importantly, considering the majority consensus we delivered at the SGM, are we much better off today than we were 5 years ago? 10? 20 years? 41 years ago? If this consensus takes us to an “old” status quo, what bright prospects are there to look forward to years from now?

The issue we voted upon on August 30th is not about changing carpets, replacing window coverings, modernizing furniture and fixtures, or solving the problem of moods and mildew at the pool, etc. It is about ASSET MANAGEMENT. It is about VALUE MAXIMIZATION and CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. Asset management is about identifying the impact of the total life-cycle cost of an asset and about considering what is crucial to sustaining and improving its value. It is about provisioning for future contingencies that impacts its usage and longevity.

In the overall context, it is about maximizing the value of our community, now and into the future.

Over the last 6 years, we paid more than $6000 for engineers to assist us in ASSET MANAGEMENT Planning (by rendering Depreciation Reports). Their recommendations are supported by financial statistics. Although we may not take everything they suggest at face value, one item that can not be disputed is this: At their present state, the objects (clubhouse/guest house facilities) of the motions at the last SGM are in very poor state. They are 41 years old! They are not in keeping with the “integrity and (beautiful) nature of our community”.

I ask all 51 objectors this: If the facilities were your home, would you live in them at the state they are in? Would you be happy living there another 5, 10 years?

If you renovated and updated your home and it cost you $100,000 to do it 10 years ago, how much more would it cost you to do the same thing in 2017? 2027?

TENANCY and HOW it Impacts a community

We have a community of long-time dwellers and a very low rate of ownership turnover. However, our community cannot be sustained forever by an aging population. An unselfish community perspective must accept that like it or not, we will all be supplanted in the future by a new generation of owners. Actually, they are here now, trickling slowly to be among us. Who they are or will be will impact our enjoyment of our community for the rest of the years of our lives.

If we are selfish, cold, and unfriendly, so will they. “Birds of the same feather flock together.” Those who do not belong will eventually leave.

Our conduct and demeanour determine who and what kind of people we are. Unwittingly, we either become victims or beneficiaries of the way we handle our affairs and respect each other.





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