The solution to creating housing affordability is having the private sector build more

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

More than 150 people gathered at the Laurel Packing House in Kelowna, Wednesday, to hear the latest findings on real estate in the Okanagan from HM Commercial Group.

The event focused on housing affordability for all British Columbians, with Andrew Wilkinson, Leader of the B.C. Liberal Party and Andrey Pavlov, from the Beedee School of Business at Simon Fraser University, as keynote speakers.

According to Pavlov, the issue surrounding affordable housing is a lack of supply, caused by government regulation.

“Most recently the speculation and vacancy tax is playing a major role in reducing supply because it makes it harder for developers to make the economics work,” explained Pavlov. “All the taxes and government intervention may help in the short term but over the long run we still have population growth and people wanting to come here (B.C.), if we don’t build more we are only going to worsen affordability going forward.”

Wilkinson agreed that the speculation and vacancy tax penalizes developers more than it assists.

“What we have said is get a real speculation tax, get rid of this phoney one, and put one (a tax) on those who flip contracts and condos, that is a real speculation tax,” argued the Liberal leader.

READ MORE: Okanagan real estate team releases report on housing affordability

Both, Pavlov and Wilkinson noted B.C. continues see an increase in population which is not something that is going to slow down anytime soon.

“About 50,000 to 60,000 people move to B.C. every year and establish themselves,” said Wilkinson. “We need to create more housing and the private sector needs to build it and our municipalities need to plan for it. In some cases that means bigger buildings and more density.”

Wilkinson said the B.C. Liberals are in favour of the private sector playing a role to help improve housing affordability.

“We cannot have the government trying to house a million people, the NDP may think that way but it’s never going to work.”

READ MORE: Governments lose revenue as housing sales drop in Okanagan

Pavlov also said he believes that the government should step back and remove restrictions on the supply of housing so private developers can step in.

“The prices of houses are high because we don’t build enough, so the solution is to build a lot,” he explained. “Even if we build luxury apartments and houses, that is fine because we are increasing supply and this will mean prices will fall or at least not increase.”


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Saanich teen earns $100,000 commerce scholarship to the University of Calgary

Matias Totz is graduating from St. Michaels University School

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read