BC Green MLA Adam Olsen, reacting on Monday to the NDP’s ‘Homes for People’ plan, said that the NDP had not provide enough detail to evaluate the impact of their policies.
Olsen said in a statement: “There are a lot of positive promises in today’s housing action plan. I’m pleased that there will be legislation permitting more density zoning, a one-stop shop permitting process, and increased funding for social housing programs. These are good policy choices.”
He added: “At face value, the pilot financial incentive program for secondary suites, the flipping tax, and the promise of better regulation for short-term rentals, are policies that we need to explore. However, the BC NDP have not provided enough detail for us to evaluate the impact of these policies.”
However, he noted: “There are three major items that need more clarity. First, we need more specifics about the initiatives contained in the action plan, and a transparent timeline for when they will be introduced. If the government can expedite housing permits, perhaps we can expedite other policy initiatives and funding as well. An urgent problem requires an urgent response.
“My second concern is in regard to the plan to address encampments of unhoused people. The Province is promising multi-disciplinary response teams to remove these encampments, and I want to stress that any response must be compassionate and non-violent. Those encampments are, for lack of a better alternative, people’s homes. They must be treated with respect.
“Finally, how – specifically – does the government plan on ensuring that B.C gets out of this housing crisis, and stays out?”
Olsen said: “The provincial economy is deeply entrenched in our overblown housing market. If the BC NDP are going to truly, permanently, solve the housing crisis, they are going to have to take a hard look at the provincial books and our reliance on housing wealth as replacement for a robust social safety net.
“British Columbians deserve affordable, accessible homes and to not have their entire livelihood, retirement, or education hinging on an unpredictable housing market that they can barely afford.”