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Continuing to press government to articulate desired outcome of housing policies

In what can only be described as another frustrating experience during Question Period, my colleague, Adam Olsen, was once more stymied as he sought to explore government’s serious lack of clarity about what they are trying to achieve with their housing plan.

In his initial question Adam attempted to get a straight answer to my question from yesterday. In response to the rhetoric he was given, he continued to probe for a direct answer.

Below I reproduce the text of Adam’s exchange along with the press release we issued shortly after Question Period. We believe that the government should be forthright with what goals it has with its plan to curb speculation in our housing market.

Is the plan to stabilize prices at present levels? Is the plan to stabilize the rate of growth in prices? Or, is the plan to create a tempered market correction?

Video of Exchange

Media Release

B.C. Greens press government to articulate outcome of housing policies
For immediate release
February 22, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green caucus is seeking clarity on what the government is actually trying to achieve through its housing policy measures. Despite media coverage this week, Ministers James and Robinson failed to give a clear response in Question Period.

“Government needs to be clear about what they are trying to achieve with these policies,” said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party.

“The government has spoken about ‘moderating’ and ‘stabilizing’ the market without providing a clear definition or any indication of whether they want to reduce house prices or maintain them at their current point.

“People need to be able to afford to live where they work in order for us to have a healthy economy. The ultimate goal of these measures should be for local incomes to more closely align with house prices. The ratio of house prices to incomes needs to be 3:1 to be considered affordable, with 5:1 being considered severely unaffordable. In the City of Vancouver the ratio is at 37:1.

“This crisis is reverberating throughout our economy. We have long heard from our tech sector – which should be driving the future economic growth of this province – that they are struggling to attract talent due to the astronomical cost of living in our cities. If we fail to take action we risk massive opportunities to diversify our economy.”

Weaver asked Minister Robinson to articulate an outcome in Question Period on Wednesday. After not receiving a clear answer, Adam Olsen, B.C. Green spokesperson for housing, put the question to the Finance Minister, and again failed to receive a clear response.

“The government delayed taking action on the housing market in the Fall, instead promising a comprehensive housing platform in this budget,” Olsen added. “British Columbians have waited for action from their government for a long time – it’s essential that the government is now upfront about what they are trying to achieve with their housing plan.

“We are in a housing crisis. Vancouver is one of the top four cities in the world most at risk of a housing bubble. Responsibly deflating the bubble is the right thing to do for our economy and for our communities.”


Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

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