The solution to creating housing affordability is having the private sector build more

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

More than 150 people gathered at the Laurel Packing House in Kelowna, Wednesday, to hear the latest findings on real estate in the Okanagan from HM Commercial Group.

The event focused on housing affordability for all British Columbians, with Andrew Wilkinson, Leader of the B.C. Liberal Party and Andrey Pavlov, from the Beedee School of Business at Simon Fraser University, as keynote speakers.

According to Pavlov, the issue surrounding affordable housing is a lack of supply, caused by government regulation.

“Most recently the speculation and vacancy tax is playing a major role in reducing supply because it makes it harder for developers to make the economics work,” explained Pavlov. “All the taxes and government intervention may help in the short term but over the long run we still have population growth and people wanting to come here (B.C.), if we don’t build more we are only going to worsen affordability going forward.”

Wilkinson agreed that the speculation and vacancy tax penalizes developers more than it assists.

“What we have said is get a real speculation tax, get rid of this phoney one, and put one (a tax) on those who flip contracts and condos, that is a real speculation tax,” argued the Liberal leader.

READ MORE: Okanagan real estate team releases report on housing affordability

Both, Pavlov and Wilkinson noted B.C. continues see an increase in population which is not something that is going to slow down anytime soon.

“About 50,000 to 60,000 people move to B.C. every year and establish themselves,” said Wilkinson. “We need to create more housing and the private sector needs to build it and our municipalities need to plan for it. In some cases that means bigger buildings and more density.”

Wilkinson said the B.C. Liberals are in favour of the private sector playing a role to help improve housing affordability.

“We cannot have the government trying to house a million people, the NDP may think that way but it’s never going to work.”

READ MORE: Governments lose revenue as housing sales drop in Okanagan

Pavlov also said he believes that the government should step back and remove restrictions on the supply of housing so private developers can step in.

“The prices of houses are high because we don’t build enough, so the solution is to build a lot,” he explained. “Even if we build luxury apartments and houses, that is fine because we are increasing supply and this will mean prices will fall or at least not increase.”


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tsolum River Restoration Society members keeping busy during COVID-19 times

Young fish can get stranded in the most unlikely of places

Police looking for witnesses to Courtenay bear spray assault

The incident took place Tuesday, May 26 at around 8:30 p.m.

2020 Hornby Island trade tokens of sentimental value only

The Hornby Island Token Project is in its third and final year,… Continue reading

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Courtenay returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Most Read