Seeking bold action

Housing priorities for Budget 2018

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Curb speculation and the impact of global capital
Restrict the impact of global capital on our real estate market, and reduce all types of speculative activity. This is key to cooling the overheated real estate market and bringing house prices more in line with local incomes.

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Increase the supply of affordable housing
Free up existing supply and ensure that new supply meets the needs of average British Columbians, not wealthy speculators. This is key to ensuring that we have adequate rental supply and that properties are used by those who need them, rather than sitting empty.

 

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Enhance financial stability for home-buyers and renters
Deal with the impacts of the crisis on British Columbians in a responsible way that does not put further inflationary pressure on the market.

 

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Improve transparency and data
Collect and disseminate key data to support decision-making and to crack down on tax evasion and fraud.

Sign the petition   Download the full plan (PDF)

 

In February the NDP Government will table their first full budget. They have a critical opportunity in front of them to take real action on housing affordability and protect the future for people of all ages and demographics in our cities.

Our communities should be vibrant, welcoming and affordable - they should be places where people from all walks of life can thrive.

Homes are the centre of community, and our homes should be places for people to live in; not treated like commodities to be bought, and sold, and traded exclusively for profit. Yet our real estate has turned into a playground for the wealthy: a place for speculators to park their capital and reap huge returns, while ordinary British Columbians struggle to find a suitable place to live. 

The current crisis has a number of interconnected aspects, affecting British Columbians across the income spectrum.

The skyrocketing price of real estate is precluding young people and families from buying homes in our cities.

Sky-high rents and near 0% vacancy levels in several communities are forcing renters to contend with huge competition for units, to live in cramped accommodation, and to spend far too much of their income on rent.

As a result, young people are finding it increasingly difficult to see a future for themselves in our cities. As British Columbians priced out of Metro Vancouver migrate elsewhere in the province, communities from Vancouver Island, to the Okanagan, to the Kootenays are experiencing escalating house prices and severe rental shortages.

Small businesses in our cities are struggling to make rent, pay their property taxes and attract workers. We’re hearing from many industries, especially our growing tech sector, that are struggling to attract talent due to the high cost of living.

And the most vulnerable in our society bear a huge impact of this crisis, as people are forced to live in unsuitable accommodation and levels of homelessness continue to escalate.

The provincial government has a significant role to play in tackling this crisis. As part of our agreement with the NDP, we are provided the opportunity through consultations to provide our perspective on what we want to see in the budget, and we’ve pushed for these objectives and policies in our meetings with government.

Measures include: 

  1. Restrict foreign purchasing of property in BC
  2. Implement a speculators tax
  3. Implement a tax on flipping

Measures include: 

  1. Regulate and restrict short-term rentals
  2. Give all local governments the ability to tax empty homes
  3. Rethink zoning to increase the right kind of supply

Measures include:

  1. Eliminate the BC HOME partnership
  2. Provide means-tested support
  3. Improve transparency and data
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