VICTORIA: Over the last nine months our government has made addressing the housing crisis a top priority. Too many people in B.C. still can’t find an affordable home to rent or to buy. That’s why we are taking sustained, bold action to stabilize demand and increase the supply of affordable homes.
We took three more steps in the right direction this week.
Too many people are buying and selling condos before they are built without paying the taxes they owe on each transaction. This speculation drives up prices and makes it harder for people who are trying to buy a home for their families. Our government has introduced legislation that, if passed, will make sure everyone pays their fair share when they profit off of housing. This will help cool speculation, reduce prices, and make it easier for people to find a home.
Increasing supply is also key to increasing housing affordability. However, it needs to be the right supply. Right now a lot of affordable, rental homes are being torn down and turned into condos that are more suitable for investors than families.
Communities have few tools available to protect existing, affordable rental housing. The legislation we brought in this week, if passed, would give local governments the ability to protect existing rental housing, and to encourage the building of new rental homes.
We are doing our part to create supply with the largest investment in housing in B.C. history – more than seven billion dollars and 114,000 homes over the next decade. However, we need the help of local governments to know what kind of housing is needed, and where.
That’s why we also brought in legislation that would, if passed, require communities to assess their housing needs. This will help us build the homes people need, where they need them, in every region of the province.
These actions to address housing supply and demand build on the work we have already announced, including the speculation tax, the increase in the foreign buyer’s tax, our rapid response to homelessness, and direct housing investments in communities across B.C.
We have already opened up hundreds of new homes for people in need, and thousands more are on the way. These homes will help seniors, students, people with disabilities, young families and others in need find a place to call home and a chance to live a better, more comfortable life.
Fixing the housing crisis will take time, but we are not waiting to get started. We are working closely with our partners in the public and private sector to take bold steps to improve the housing market for all British Columbians.
Together, we are building B.C. by creating the housing people need, at a price they can afford