BC Liberals and BC NDP slam each other on housing

AFTER BC NDP Leader John Horgan’s announcement on Monday on renters’ rebate and extending rent freeze, $400 annual rebate, the BC Liberals said that “as John Horgan makes more empty promises on housing, he fails to include a few key facts.”

“The average rent in Vancouver has increased by more than $2,000 a year under the NDP,” said BC Liberal candidate George Affleck. “The vacancy rate hasn’t budged and the cost of housing has gone up under the NDP, the opposite of what he promised. We need a real plan to help people and that’s what the BC Liberals are offering.”

He said Horgan promised 114,000 affordable housing units and less than 3,000 units have actually been built — it will take nearly 100 years for the NDP to deliver on the promise in full. Horgan also promised a $400 renters’ rebate that never materialized.

The BC NDP fired back, saying that Wilkinson would roll back their supports for renters and raise rents.  

It said Wilkinson was famously slammed for his out of touch claim that renting is just a “wacky time of life” that people outgrow: “It was fun. It was part of growing up and getting better. We’ve all done it. It’s kind of a wacky time of life, but it can be really enjoyable. Being a renter is a fact of life; it’s a rite of passage.”

When he was called out for his comments he doubled down: “It is an unstable time of life in your early 20s and you hope to get it settled down and move on in life, and that is part of growing up.” (Global, Feb 2019)

The BC NDP said: “But it’s not just his words. Wilkinson has opposed every major action taken by John Horgan and the BC NDP to support renters and tackle the housing crisis.

“Wilkinson opposes the BC NDP capping annual rent increases to inflation – which saves the average BC renter $333/year or $420/year for a Vancouver renter in a two bedroom.

“His then-housing critic Sam Sullivan even wants to get rid of rent increase limits entirely, claiming “rent control actually harms renters.” (CBC, Sept. 17, 2018)

“Wilkinson opposes the BC NDP’s additional protections for renters facing eviction or on fixed term leases.

“Andrew Wilkinson has also promised to cancel the speculation and vacancy tax which has turned 11,000 empty condos into new rental homes for people (CMHC), and give a tax break to people with homes over $3 million – a measure that raises $200 million for investments in housing supply.”