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

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

NAV CANDA is considering closing its station at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada considering closing station at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization is conducting a service review at Castlegar’s airport

The Kootenay Boundary Physician Association is sponsoring a pumpkin carving contest at KBRH. Photo: Submitted
‘Carve your hearts out’ at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Pumpkin carvings by KBRH staff will be on display Thursday and Friday in the hospital lobby

First responders at a crash scene near Rossland on Thursday, Oct. 22. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in West Kootenay causes vehicle collisions

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Andrew Duncan was the Green candidate for Kootenay West. Photo: Submitted
A post-election message from Green Party candidate Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan was a Green Party candidate for Kootenay West in the provincial election.

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read