New government for BC urged to prioritize housing

By Steve Randall

The new provincial government for British Columbia has been sworn in and will immediately need to deal with the wildfires but voters are then expecting housing to be a key priority.

Polls carried out by the Angus Reid Institute, one before and one after the election, puts healthcare and housing firmly at the top of the priorities.

Before the vote, healthcare was ahead of housing (50% vs. 35%) but that has changed with housing now seen as the top priority by 43% and healthcare by 42%.

House prices and affordability are the main areas of housing policy that are concerning BC residents. More than 6 in 10 would spend at least 10% of the provincial surplus on affordable/social housing.

The Hon. Selina Robinson has been appointed minister for municipal affairs and housing and the BC Real Estate Association says that it looks forward to working with her on its affordability recommendations. The association had hoped for a dedicated housing minister.

Meanwhile, the Urban Development Institute welcomed the minister’s appointment.

“The new Minister brings a unique grasp of how housing and business are interdependent,” noted UDI president & CEO Anne McMullin. “Business growth relies on recruiting and retaining employees.  But employees have challenges finding an affordable place to live in Metro Vancouver.”

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