BC government to address housing and rental affordability

British Columbia’s ruling New Democratic Party pledged on Tuesday to curb speculative activity and stabilize “out-of-control” housing markets in the province.

The NDP will also unveil measures that would crack down on tax cheats and money laundering as part of its budget on February 20, according to Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon.

“Safe, decent housing is a right that is under threat by speculators, domestic and foreign, who seek windfall profits at the expense of people who work, live and pay taxes in BC,” Guichon said, adding that the “first step must be to address demand and stabilize BC’s out-of-control real estate and rental market.”

Also read: $45bn in foreign-owned Metro Vancouver housing just the ‘tip of the iceberg’

The Throne Speech also promised measures to promote more rental housing in the province, including allowing municipalities to create rental-only zones.

The NDP, which took power last June in a post-election deal with the Green Party, has long promised to address surging house prices and rents, as well as dwindling stock, particularly in the Vancouver area.

House prices have risen by 63% in Greater Vancouver over the past three years, hitting an average of $1.06m in January, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Also read: Should BC restrict foreign ownership of real estate?

 

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