The provincial government is taking steps to address housing issues in British Columbia.
Premier David Eby has announced that housing will have its own ministry in the provincial government, with the new minister to be announced in early December.
In addition, the provincial government is taking on initiatives to address British Columbia’s housing crisis. These measures include a proposed Housing Supply Act and amendments to the Strata Property Act.
Housing supply and housing affordability are affecting people throughout the province. For years, homes in this province have been expensive and while prices have started to decline, it still costs a lot to buy a home in British Columbia.
Up to the end of September, 325 properties worth $105.2 million sold in Quesnel this year. Half of the 110 single-family homes sold so far this year, sold for more than $380,000. Of course, that seems affordable compared to places like the Lower Mainland or the Okanagan, but it’s not as affordable as it used to be – one of the big draws to living in the north.
Earlier this year, a study in Kelowna showed fewer than one in 10 Kelowna households could afford the benchmark price of $1 million for a single-family home in that city.
The prices for apartments, condominium units and townhouses are lower than prices for single-family homes, but even these prices are out of reach for many.
Real estate prices have been increasing faster than wages.
Rental costs are also expensive, and these costs are putting stress onto those who are living on modest incomes. When housing costs take up a large portion of a household’s income, there are times when a choice must be made between paying for heat or buying groceries for the family. These are choices no one should be forced to make.
While the recent housing announcements and creation of a housing ministry are welcome news, these measures are not enough.
British Columbia is experiencing a housing crisis. This crisis needs immediate action.
— Black Press