February 2013
Connections (February 2013)
Connections: Advocacy News from the British Columbia Real Estate Association – February 2013 
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  Housing Affordability Symposium: Changing Cultures, Shifting Needs—Solutions   from the Ground Up!

Can the decisions you make daily impact housing affordability?  If so, the Housing Affordability Symposium is for you. On March 14 and 15, join industry organizations, local, provincial and federal government representatives from across the province and be part of the solution.

The 3rd Housing Affordability Symposium will explore the impact of shifting demographics and changing needs, along with highlighting the potential solutions for affordable market housing throughout BC. The diversity of needs between a variety of demographic groups, such as millennials, families and the aging population, will dictate the need for more flexible housing types and solutions in the long term. 

HAS is far more than an educational conference—instead, participants leave with practical tools to create conditions towards affordable market housing in their own communities.

Event:                   3rd Annual Housing Affordability Symposium
Date:                     March 14-15, 2013
Location:              Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond, BC
Website:              www.withinyourmeans.ca (includes registration and program)

The Housing Affordability Symposium is a collaboration between the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia and BC Housing to address market housing affordability in BC. The Symposium brings together industry and all levels of government in a ground-breaking effort to openly discuss the issues and solutions to housing affordability, and highlight actionable solutions.

 2013 Provincial Election—No Vote, No Voice

May 14, 2013 is election day in BC.

Because the real action during elections takes place at the local level, BCREA’s goals this time around focus on supporting and promoting the activities of its 11 member real estate boards, and helping make REALTORS® aware of opportunities to participate. During federal, provincial and local government elections, BC real estate boards shine. The boards and REALTORS® have extensive knowledge of their communities, local issues and candidates, and are in the best position to take action.

In early April, BCREA will launch its election website with the following resources:

  • concise descriptions of BCREA’s public policy positions, including the Property Transfer Tax, strata properties, floodplain maps and properties used in drug operations
  • analysis of major parties’ election platforms in relation to real estate and BCREA’s public policy issues
  • a list of member board election activities
  • BCREA’s Quality of Life brochure and video
  • a link to the Elections BC website, where British Columbians can register to vote
  • links to registered political parties, and a list of election candidates
  • an election Twitter feed
 Community Safety Act

On February 21, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond tabled the Community Safety Act in the legislature. If passed, it will enable people to submit confidential complaints to a new provincial unit charged with investigating, mediating and working with property owners to curb various threatening and dangerous activities. The bill targets the sites of specific criminal and nuisance activities, including drug production and trafficking, prostitution, unlawful liquor sales, child abuse, possession of unlawful weapons or explosives, and activities conducted by or on behalf of gangs and organized crime.

Although this measure doesn’t directly address BCREA’s recommendations for consistent processes for disclosure and remediation of properties used in drug operations, it does indicate the government’s concern for these properties and the related safety of British Columbians.

 Tracking Legislation

BCREA keeps an ear to the ground by monitoring legislative changes throughout the year. For brief overviews of changes related to the real estate sector, see the Provincial Legislation Update on BCREA’s website.

 Contact Us

Where do you stand on the public policy issues addressed in this issue of Connections? Contact BCREA at [email protected] with your comments about these issues, or to update us on your organization’s successes. For more information about BCREA’s public policy positions, visit www.bcrea.bc.ca.

To subscribe to receive BCREA publications such as this one, or to update your email address or current subscriptions, click here.

British Columbia Real Estate Association
1420 – 701 Georgia Street West
PO Box 10123, Pacific Centre
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1C6
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Real estate boards, real estate associations and REALTORS® may reprint this content, provided that credit is given to BCREA by including the following statement: "Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission."