Douglas Todd: Housing crisis as seen by one of B.C.’s biggest developers
When he was involved in left-wing circles in his younger days, Michael Audain once joined a protest against a giant developer who was “blockbusting” a Toronto neighbourhood by bringing in raucous partyers to force existing residents to move out for a massive building project.
About five decades ago Audain was also morally convinced it was not OK to make a profit selling property. So when he bought a house for $22,000 he sold it two years later for $22,000. He did that twice.
Then he stopped.
“I’ve been corrupted, I think,” says Audain, 85, who in the 1980s founded Polygon Homes, one of B.C.’s biggest property development companies.
“(Philosopher) Bertrand Russell said the true radical becomes more radical as he grows older. So I think I’ve betrayed that sentiment.”
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