Affordable Housing latest Election Target

Editorial

Tuesday, June 28 2016

Election season signs are here.

Not the actual physical signs, but the signs that the BC Liberals are trying to put themselves into position to once again fool voters in to giving them another kick at running the provincial government.

This time, through a YouTube video released this past Sunday, Premier Christy Clark laid out what she said would be the principles to guide the provincial government’s affordable housing strategy.

The first sign this is an election-geared initiative - it is couched with the ultimate goal of, in Clark’s words, “making sure the dream of owning a home in Vancouver and the other cities in the lower mainland remains in the reach of the middle class.”

Among the other principles, Clark says a key factor has to be all levels of government working together. Translation: money should come from the Federal government, laundered by the Province, and doled out to local governments for quick-stop solutions that win more provincial elections.

As of press time, none of the specifics of the actual strategy had been laid out. Some of those were expected to be released this week.

Clark has said there needs to be investment in transit, to ensure communities stay linked together. It remains to be seen if she is talking about transit outside the Lower Mainland. Points to the Liberals though, they finally committed to public transit on the Highway of Tears, after years of lobbying by the families of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Clark has said there will also be work done to help first-time homebuyers get into a market where they have no equity. And help for people who continue to rent within the high-priced markets that are the Lower Mainland.

A key piece of help, whether on the Mainland or province-wide, could be to finally cut the tie that is the property transfer tax. This would help the second-time homebuyers. The people who bought while single, and now, for whatever reason, need to move into a bigger home. Or the people who are looking to downsize after a lifetime in their family home, and need to save every dollar they can for retirement.

More and more, we’re going to hear statements from Clark and her party, promising that if they get one more chance, they’ll fix everything. And of course, they’ll promise to do it with the money made on LNG.