OPINION: More affordable housing for people


MLA for Richmond-Queensborough


I know that many people are facing challenges navigating today’s housing market. For too long, the housing crisis was ignored, leaving a small number of people to profit while many others were left fighting to keep a roof over their head.

Since 2017, New Democrats have been working to turn the tide. We cracked down on speculation, which has added over 18,000 rental units in Metro Vancouver alone. We have also built a record number of new homes with more on the way, and have removed unfair restrictions that limited rentals in stratas.

We are also working to protect existing rental buildings. Affordable rental and co-operative housing buildings are increasingly being bought up by large corporations, who often evict existing tenants. Too often, this is a tactic used to turn huge profits, sometimes taking rental units off the market entirely.

Last week we announced the $500 million Rental Protection Fund. The Fund will provide grants to non-profit housing organizations, allowing them to purchase affordable residential rental buildings that are up for sale, and preserve the rental units, allowing people to stay in their homes without massive rent increases.

While we preserve existing homes, we’re also working to speed up the construction of new homes and residential buildings.

A new one-stop-shop approach to provincial permitting will mean building developers can get the permits they need in one place, without having to send multiple applications to different provincial government offices and agencies.

Removing these barriers will allow builders to make significantly faster progress on delivering the new housing that people need.

The housing crisis is a complex challenge, and we’re tackling it from every angle. I want to see everyone in B.C. in a safe, affordable home that meets their needs, in their chosen community. And we’re going to keep working to make that a reality.