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

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

The site of the former Arrowview Hotel, on Second Avenue and Athol Street, as of Jan. 14, 2020. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni pressures Arrowview Hotel owner for final cleanup

Demolition finished in June 2020 but site still full of construction material

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Building owner digs in heels, refuses to remove illegal trailers from property

Port Alberni council gives owner two-week reprieve on remediation orders

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Most Read