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

Aldergrove legion Branch 265 president Doug Hadley presents a poppy to Langley Township mayor Jack Froese. (Madeline Roach/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Poppy sales begin at Aldergrove legion branch #265

Branch president Doug Hadley shared the poem Who is a Veteran to begin the time of remembrance

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

Willowbrook Shopping Centre. (Langley Advance Times files)
Le Chateau will shutter stores in Willowbrook, across Canada

The Canadian fashion company says COVID-19 has made it impossible to continue operating

The Glow Gardens light display will be moving to the Greater Vancouver Zoo this year for an outdoor event. (Langley Advance Times files)
Glow Gardens light display re-locates to Greater Vancouver Zoo

Now outdoors, the event will start nightly in November

On Oct. 22, 2020 Langley School District reported an individual with COVID-19 was at the school on Oct. 13, 14 and 15. (Google)
Six Langley schools now on COVID-19 exposure list

Belmont elementary is latest school added

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

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

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Most Read