New government, new housing mandate.
In your role as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing I expect that you will make substantive progress on the following priorities:
- Partner with local governments and First Nations to develop a community capital infrastructure fund to upgrade and build sports facilities, playgrounds, local community centres, and arts and culture spaces.
- Through partnerships with local governments, the federal govenrment, and the private and not-for- profit sectors, begin to build 114,000 units of affordable market rental, non-profit,
co-op, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing.
- Create new student housing by removing unnecessary rules that prevent universities and colleges from building affordable student housing.
- Amend the Residential Tenancy Act to provide stronger protections for renters, and provide additional resources to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
- With the Minister of Finance, deliver an annual renter’s rebate of $400 dollars per rental household to improve rental affordability.
- Work in partnership to develop a homelessness action plan to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services. As part of the plan, conduct a province-wide homelessness count.
- Work with the Minister of Finance to address speculation, tax fraud and money laundering in the housing market.
- As the Minister responsible for TransLink, support the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation by funding 40%of the capital costs of every phase of the plan, in partnership with all levels of government.
We suspect many people reading here are disappointed that Eby isn’t the housing minister and are curious to see how that second to last point turns out. You can read the full letter here.
If you’ve got an idea of how to make housing more affordable in Vancouver, city officials say they’re all ears.
“I think we’re almost at the desperation stage,” said Randy Pecarski, the City of Vancouver’s deputy director of planning. “People are on the verge of leaving the city because they can’t find a place to stay.”
First step: another survey to improve housing affordability over the next ten years.
Read the full article over at the CBC.
The NDP is promising to implement a $400 rental grant if elected. This grant would be applicable to all rentals and would have the side effect of pretty much putting an end to rental income tax evasion.
Christy Clark is disturbed by the idea of money going to “wealthy renters”
“That isn’t right,” Clark said. “We shouldn’t be redistributing our tax money to the very rich. We should be making sure that we spend our resources supporting people who are having trouble staying in their homes.”
The NDP also pledges to close a fixed term lease rent loophole that lets some landlords raise rents higher than otherwise allowed.
Read the full article here.
According to BC Statistics the community of West Van is seeing a steady population decline.
According to a B.C. Statistics report, the population in West Vancouver dropped by 2.1 per cent between 2015 and 2016 with just under 41,000 people now calling that community home.
The downturn in West Vancouver is the largest year-over-year decline of any B.C. municipality with at least 15,000 residents. West Vancouver has been in a slow and steady decline since 2011, which doesn’t follow the current trend of most municipalities across the province that have seen a steady increase in their populations.
So whats driving the decline? Housing prices? Aging Population? Lack of Bars and Restaurants? Lack of rentals? The mayor is concerned about all those factors.
“So we need more rental accommodation so when our young people are graduating and want to stay in West Van, have a place to rent.”
The business community, Smith says, is also suffering from the lack of vibrancy.
“We don’t have the bars and restaurants to create any vibrancy in the community. It’s a very serious situation,” Smith explained.
Read the full article at Globalnews.
The city of Vancouver has floated the idea of an ’empty home tax’ to help encourage the availability of rental supply. Today is the last day they will take feedback online for this idea.
If you have ideas for or against an empty home tax now is the time to have your input. What should be taxed and what should be exempt?
Best Place on Meth points out a rather obvious loophole and asks how it would be dealt with. Will there be baseline expectations for what is or isn’t market rent?
What’s to stop these owners from listing it for rent at some outrageous price that nobody will pay and then claiming they did try to rent it out?
What do you think – is the idea of an empty home tax a good or bad approach to Vancouvers housing problems?