While the provincial government’s recently announced measures to improve housing affordability are welcomed, both the province and municipalities need to do much more.
Additional measures which would significantly contribute to improving B.C. housing affordability include the following:
• Immediately prohibit the practice of “blind bidding” on housing – this practice simply increases the prices of homes and increases the total financial return significantly, with no extra effort for real estate agents;
• Establish stricter and shorter specified timelines for all development approvals of non-profit and affordable housing, community centres, hospitals, long-term care facilities and other similar projects throughout the province, which would overrule municipalities;
• Dedicate surplus provincial lands for building affordable housing and establish truly affordable pricing for these homes;
• Prohibit foreign buyers from purchasing any housing in B.C.;
• Pass legislation regulating that the sale of houses cannot be sold for a price greater than the listed price established when a home is put up for sale;
• Lobby the federal government to increase the capital gains taxes on investors who own more than one property, especially houses;
• Establish provincial regulations and deadlines which will streamline the subdivision, site plan and zoning approvals; and
• Copy many of the new regulations and policies announced in the province of Ontario through its More Homes for Everyone plan.
Bill Lambert, Surrey