B.C. Liberals slam NDP for lack of action on strata crisis

AFTER a week of questions and no real answers, BC Liberal Critic for Housing Todd Stone on Wednesday expressed his frustration about the NDP’s lack of action on the strata crisis.

“All week we’ve been asking [Premier] John Horgan and the NDP when condo and townhome owners can expect some sort of relief from skyrocketing strata fees. All they have done is point to empty legislation that will make absolutely no difference for those currently caught in this crisis,” said Stone. “There are thousands of people looking for this government to act now and provide them with some sort of immediate relief, and yet the Housing Minister will only commit to more consultations and ‘solutions’ that will take years to improve the situation.”

The BC Liberals say they have been hearing from a growing number of British Columbians caught in this crisis:

– Marilyn from Richmond lives in a strata that has been denied insurance solely because it is located in Richmond and has a high earthquake risk. Her broker is dealing with at least 10 other stratas that have also been unable to find insurance.
– Leanne from Penticton said her row-house strata complex is facing an 800 per cent increase as no one else will insure them due to the age of their building. Her strata will likely be forced to go with this policy due to lack of other available options and this will nearly bankrupt them.
– Walt from Williams Lake is a member of a nonprofit housing society. They were paying $18,000 a year and now the cheapest premium quote they can find is $200,000 (this is a staggering 1000 per cent increase).
– Bob and Susan from Kelowna have seen their water deductible go from $15,000 up to $150,000, and their premium increase from $84,000 up to $387,000. This will drive their monthly strata fees up by $200 a month.

“Thousands of people across the province are at risk of losing their homes and are in dire need of relief,” said Stone. “This crisis first began over a year ago and it is high time the government took immediate action to provide condo and townhome owners with solutions that will actually help them in the short term. Consultations and delayed action will do nothing to help those who desperately need relief now.”