B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)

BC VOTES 2020: Where the parties stand on housing affordability ahead of Oct. 24

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

As British Columbians struggle financially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, all three of B.C.’s major parties have released housing affordability promises in an attempt to woo voters.

BC NDP

The incumbent NDP have promised a 10-year Homes For B.C. plan to “to build and revitalize affordable homes for everyone from students to seniors.” As part of that plan, the NDP vowed to build 114,000 affordable rental and supportive homes across the province, 25,000 of which they say are already completed or currently being built. The party said 5,000 of the units will be supportive housing, and that rent supplements will be paid out to people ready to leave supporting housing.

The party has also pledged to extend the current rent freeze, in place until Dec. 1 due to the pandemic, up until the end of 2021. The NDP have also said they will cap rent increases in future years to inflation.

For households with an income of up to $80,000 annually, the party will also provide a $400 renters rebate if they are not receiving another form of rental aid.

Developers have been promised that the NDP will “streamline and modernize housing construction” by nixing minimum parking requirements for housing built near transit. The party will also bring in a single-window provincial permitting process and work with municipal governments to make the local approval process simpler.

People living in stratas have been promised that a public insurance option will be developed if a solution to sky-rocketing costs is not found by the end of 2021.

For B.C’s indigenous community, the NDP said it will build the units remaining in its prior $550 million commitment to develop 1,750 new homes, both on and off reserve.

BC Liberals

On the BC Liberal side of the aisle, the party said they will do better than the NDP, which the Liberals accuse of having completed just 2,963 units out the promised 114,000. The BC Liberals have pledged to get rid of the NDP’s “phoney” speculation tax by bringing in what they dub a “true real-estate speculation tax,” which will involve moving to a condo-flipping capital gains tax. The Liberals also said they will bring in higher property taxes for non-resident home owners.

In terms of strata insurance, the Liberals said they will facilitate a self-insurance model and eliminate “best-terms” pricing. The party also said it will reduce required insurance from full replacement value to a level “in line with actual claims cost history.”

The BC Liberals said they will work with municipalities to review current property taxes to incentivize developers to build affordable rental housing, as well as bring in an “incentive fund” for local governments. The party also said it would make sure there was no net loss ff rental units due to developer projects.

Further, the Liberals said they would implement tax and permitting changes they say will boost housing supply. The party said it will also spend funds to get homeless people in B.C. into housing and connect them with social services.

BC Greens

For their part, the BC Greens said they will bring in a “housing first” approach to speed up supportive and social housing projects. The party said it will also extend leases for co-ops and create a land bank for future co-ops. The Greens also said they will work with municipalities to expand townhouses and triplex housing option and deal with the current issues in strata insurance costs.

The party has said it will close loopholes in speculation tax that currently exempt satellite families and some foreign owners.

On the rental affordability front, the BC Greens said they will establish a means-tested grant for low to moderate income households paying more than 30 per cent of their income in rent, as well as introduce a capital fund to support the buying and maintaining of rental housing by non-profits.

READ MORE: B.C. party leaders talk taxes, housing at board of trade event


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

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

Just Posted

File photo
Surrey Downtown BIA launches shop local campaign

Meantime, BC Buy Local Week runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 in Surrey

A worker from Yellow Fence Rentals installs fencing around Cloverdale Youth Park Nov. 25. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Youth Park closed

Basketball court and skate park fenced off

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, acting vice provost, Teaching and Learning, with Kwantlen Polytechnic University. (submitted photo)
Students save money in KPU’s novel ZTC program, or ‘Zero Textbook Cost’

Launched in the spring of 2018, the program has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic

White Rock firefighters hang a banner on their firehall Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a joint effort with the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society to raise $500,000 for the Peace Arch Hospital. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey RCMP have provided shoppers with a number of holiday-shopping safety tips. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey RCMP offers holiday-shopping safety tips

Be safe when purchasing items online or through marketplace-type apps, police warn

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

There are 32 active outbreaks in seniors' homes in the Fraser Health region.
MAP: See the locations of 32 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Fraser Health seniors’ homes

There are 32 active outbreaks in assisted-living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings

Most Read