FOLLOWING the firings of BC Housing’s NDP-appointed board members, Housing Minister David Eby continues to hide from his government’s ongoing failures to improve housing affordability, which has been a resounding failure under his leadership, the BC Liberals said this week.
“In 2017, the NDP promised to build 114,000 units of affordable housing and make life more affordable for British Columbians. Five years later, life is more expensive than ever, housing prices have skyrocketed, and David Eby has managed to build just six per cent of his housing goal,” said BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon.
“It’s clear that quietly firing BC Housing board members, that the NDP appointed, on a Friday night was David Eby’s attempt to avoid bringing attention to his latest disaster. His failure in leadership has resulted in the single worst decline in housing affordability in a generation. British Columbians must now pay the price for the latest example of NDP incompetence.”
A recently published Ernst & Young report found that while working on Eby and the NDP’s housing programs, BC Housing did not establish program outcomes, they failed to properly account for rising construction costs in its finances putting future projects at risk, and they also failed to establish the resources, skills and jurisdictional knowledge required to successfully deliver programs. The report also found contracts were awarded without identifiable criteria, developers lost confidence and withdrew from the HousingHub loan program, and BC Housing’s reputation within the sector was damaged because it couldn’t effectively oversee its $2 billion funding expansion. In short, the organization and its board failed to provide the most basic management oversight and competence.
Meanwhile, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) states that B.C. will need to build 570,000 additional homes by 2030 to deliver any sort of affordability to the housing market — far more than the NDP’s promise of 114,000 housing units, of which only 7,219 have been opened since 2017. Meanwhile, a National Bank report says it now takes 38 years to save for a down payment on a home in Vancouver under the NDP.
“Mass firings of NDP appointees can’t excuse David Eby’s failure on the housing crisis. With 75 per cent of people in our province having given up hope of ever owning a home in B.C., it’s clear that a half-decade of NDP rhetoric with no follow-through has left British Columbians worse off than ever,” said MLA Mike Bernier, BC Liberal Housing Critic. “Whether it’s co-authoring disgraced studies that blame Asian homebuyers for the housing crisis or trying to find ways to somehow blame Kevin Falcon for decisions made while he was out of government, David Eby has consistently found ways to politicize the housing crisis while failing to take any responsibility for fixing it as Housing Minister. It’s obvious that the lack of affordable housing is something David Eby would rather use for grandstanding, political theatre, and divisive rhetoric instead of actually working to fix.”
The BC Liberals said that claims in the 2015 study co-authored by Eby blaming Chinese money for the housing crisis were thoroughly repudiated last month by Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen of the B.C. Supreme Court. Despite being pressed by Global News and Falcon, Eby has yet to apologize to the Asian community.