BC Liberals layout housing affordability plan

Housing Affordability for all of BC

PORT MOODY (October 16, 2020) – As part of their plan to create more affordable housing options for homebuyers and renters, the BC Liberals have announced a comprehensive housing strategy that will unleash the power of the private sector to help build more homes. 

“Today, we are presenting a $1.75 billion housing plan that will dramatically increase supply, remove barriers to new housing developments, and make renting and homeownership more affordable for British Columbians,” said BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson. “Our housing platform is backed up with serious money — $1.75 billion over three years in capital funding and $146 million in new operating funding — to increase supply and affordability across the entire housing spectrum so that all British Columbians can have a place to call home.”

Under John Horgan and the NDP, average rents and property taxes continue to increase and fewer people can afford to buy homes. John Horgan promised to create 114,000 more affordable homes last election and so far has only opened 2,963 units — at this rate, it would take him more than 100 years to fulfil his promise.

“Our housing plan will also provide real relief for condo and townhome owners affected by the strata crisis, implement higher property-taxes for non-residents of Canada, and modernize the outdated permitting system,” added Wilkinson. “We need to restore confidence in the housing market and rebuild B.C. so that everyone can have an affordable place to call home.”

As John Horgan and the NDP continue to mislead voters on the need for this risky, unnecessary election, Andrew Wilkinson and the BC Liberal team are focused on bringing forward housing ideas that restore confidence and will help rebuild B.C.

– 30 –

Contact:
Carlie Pochynok
604-200-2784
carlie.pochynok@bcliberals.com


Backgrounder

Increasing affordable housing for homebuyers and renters

The NDP have broken their promises to ensure affordable housing options for British Columbians. Out of a promised 114,000 more affordable homes, they have only opened 2,963 mostly temporary units. It will take more than 100 years for the NDP to reach their housing target. And house prices, rents and property taxes continue to grow, making housing even less affordable.

In addition, strata-owners are now facing up to 1,000% increases in their insurance premiums, costing hundreds of dollars extra per month.

BC Liberals will implement the most comprehensive housing affordability strategy in North America, to provide new supply and affordable housing options for you and all British Columbians.

A BC Liberal Government will:

  • Establish an incentive fund for municipalities with housing policies that enable demonstrable increases in the construction and supply of new housing.
  • Implement tax and permitting changes to boost housing supply, including rental and market housing, to increase choice and improve affordability for British Columbians.
  • Work with municipalities to review the current property tax structure to incent affordable housing development, prevent speculation and drive affordable rental housing.
  • Require reviews of Official Community Plans every five years that are public, robust and transparent; require that zoning bylaws then be updated to reflect changes to the plan within one year after adoption; and allow for the waiving of hearings for Official Community Plan compliant projects.
  • Support zoning reform to provide inclusionary zoning and to ensure that the Residential Rental Tenure Zoning (RRTZ) tool cannot be used to devalue and downzone property.
  • Ensure no net loss of rental units in real estate redevelopment projects.
  • Develop tax-relief measures to help people hurt by COVID-19 economic impacts to keep their homes.
  • Implement split assessments for the commercially-rented portion of buildings through a new commercial property sub-class.
  • Create a new residential property sub-class for rental housing of three or more units.
  • Change BC Assessment practices to ensure rental properties are no longer valued based on the highest and best use, but rather on actual rental use.
  • Provide energy-efficiency rebates on rental renovations.
  • Use provincial and municipal land for affordable housing.
  • Invest in getting homeless British Columbians a home and connecting them with the health and social service supports they need.
  • Ensure prompt and effective resolution of tenancy disputes.
  • Enable affordable condominium strata insurance by: encouraging and facilitating self-insurance models for stratas; eliminating the practice of “best-terms” pricing; and reducing statutorily-required insurance for strata properties from full replacement value to a level in line with actual claims cost history.
  • Reduce delays in building-permit approvals and new homeowner costs.
  • Improve the municipal development approval process, based on best practices.
  • Strengthen and enforce Regional Growth Strategy targets so they are robust and effective.
  • Provide provincial funding to create a digital tracking tool to allow municipalities and applicants to track the progress of individual applications and identify roadblocks.
  • Increase the supply of fully-accessible units for persons with disabilities in newly-built multi-unit residential buildings.
  • Modernize the BC Building Code to address accessibility, energy efficiency and strata insurance premiums.
  • Support and develop co-operative housing and other alternative ownership models.

In addition, rather than penalizing homeowners, we will implement measures to combat true speculation in the housing sector.

A BC Liberal Government will:

  • Replace the phony NDP Speculation Tax with a true real-estate speculation tax, by changing it to a condo-flipping capital gains tax.
  • Implement higher property-taxes for non-residents of Canada, to help prevent inflation of housing prices caused by foreign investors.
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