B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson announces new housing measures at a campaign stop in Port Moody, Oct. 16, 2020. (B.C. Liberal video)

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson announces new housing measures at a campaign stop in Port Moody, Oct. 16, 2020. (B.C. Liberal video)

B.C. VOTES 2020

B.C. Liberals pledge $750M to build or buy more social housing

Rents, urban housing prices still going up in COVID-19

B.C. Housing, the agency that has bought and operated hotels, vacant senior homes and modular structures to get people off the street, would get a major boost to its capital and operating capital under a B.C. Liberal government, leader Andrew Wilkinson said Friday.

B.C. Housing would receive a $750 million increase in its capital budget to build more rental housing, and $146 million increase to its operating funds, Wilkinson said Oct. 16 at a campaign stop in Port Moody.

Expanding on the commitments in the B.C. Liberal platform, Wilkinson said municipal permit and zoning changes are needed to get market housing projects built more quickly. Even with COVID-19, average rent in the Lower Mainland has risen $2,000 a year, he said.

“The number of rental vacancies remains very, very low,” Wilkinson said. “In terms of purchased housing, condos are up 10 per cent, houses are up five per cent. The cost of housing is higher than it’s ever been in British Columbia, and incomes are going down because of COVID. So we have an affordability crisis that is not getting better.”

RELATED: Tourist, small businesses still waiting for survival grants

RELATED: B.C. Green pushes Horgan on climate, Wilkinson on debt

Wilkinson and B.C. NDP leader Joh Horgan have battled over the effectiveness of housing measures. The former B.C. Liberal government brought in a foreign buyers tax for Metro Vancouver that initially stabilized prices, and the B.C. NDP moved ahead with a speculation and vacancy tax that Horgan says has caused 11,000 formerly empty condos to be rented out.

Wilkinson has called for the speculation tax to be replaced by a condo flipping tax on pre-sale contracts, and Friday he went further.

“We need to implement higher property taxes for non-residents of Canada,” Wilkinson said. “It’s done in many jurisdictions in the world, from New Zealand to Texas, and we can do it too.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet RCMP detachment. (Westerly file photo)
Driver facing charges after crashing into pedestrian at Ucluelet crosswalk

“It’s a reminder to slow down and pay attention,” said Sgt. Steve Mancini.

Josie Osborne and her campaign team watch the results roll in during B.C.’s provincial election on Saturday night. (Photo courtesy of Josie Osborne)
Tofino expected to wait until New Year to elect new mayor after Josie Osborne wins provincial seat

Josie Osborne is the West Coast’s new MLA and that means Tofino needs a new mayor.

Dylan Hillis preparing collagen samples from ancient dog bones at the UBC musuem of Anthropology. Photo: Eric Guiry
Ancient ‘woolly dog’ ate mostly fish, new University of Victoria study finds

Study gives researchers better understanding of human-dog relationships on Tsehaht First Nation

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

Most Read