OPINION: Housing for people


NDP MLA for Richmond-Queensborough


EVERYONE deserves a place to call home. In the last several years, it’s become increasingly challenging for people to find affordable housing that meets their needs, both in our community and across B.C. That’s why we are taking action to reverse these trends.

This week, we announced our Homes for People plan, a renewed strategy to address the challenges in the housing market that have been quickly evolving in recent years. Under this plan, we are building on past achievements and redoubling our efforts to deliver tens of thousands of homes for people to live in.

When New Democrats formed government in 2017, people in B.C. had experienced sixteen years of neglect. The BC Liberals oversaw a housing market that benefitted wealthy speculators looking to make fast cash, but not everyday people who were trying to find a place for their family to live.

Since then, we’ve tackled these challenges head on and made real progress to deliver more homes for people, such as making a $7 billion housing investment and introducing a new Speculation and Vacancy Tax to get more homes on the market. Through this ongoing work, we’ve delivered more than 42,000 homes for people. And right now, there is ten times more housing underway than in 2017.

The pandemic, growing populations, and the rising costs of living are putting unprecedented pressure on people. With our Homes for People plan, we are taking urgent action today by speeding up the delivery of new homes, increasing the supply of housing that people can afford, and fighting speculation.

We are doing this by creating more small-scale, multi-unit housing, and making it easier to rent out secondary/basement suites by speeding up the approval process. This plan will also see us revitalize co-operative housing and build thousands of social and student housing units.

We’re also expanding the effective Speculation and Vacancy Tax, as well as implementing a “Flipping Tax.” We know that these efforts will put us on the path of ensuring people have access to housing they can both enjoy and afford.

There is much work ahead, but our New Democrat government remains committed to making life easier and more affordable for people in this province.