November 2012
Connections (November 2012)
Connections: Advocacy News from the British Columbia Real Estate Association – November 2012 
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  BCREA Floodplain Map Initiative

Many floodplain maps in BC are 25 years old, despite the fact that experts indicate they should be updated every ten years. That means communities around the province are making critical decisions about growth and development without having the most current information at hand.

Since 2003-2004, local governments in BC have had primary responsibility for land use management in flood hazard areas, though their capacities and expertise vary considerably, which contributes to the problem. Increasingly volatile weather, resulting from climate change, is also expected to increase the likelihood of flooding in the future.

In recent years, the provincial government has demonstrated welcome leadership in the area of coastal floodplain mapping and sea level rise, but existing floodplain maps don’t seem to be on the agenda.

Real Estate Foundation of British ColumbiaBecause of these concerns the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), with generous funding from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, is organizing a meeting of stakeholders to discuss how existing floodplain maps can be updated, kept current and made available to the public. Planning ahead to avoid flooding is less expensive and less disruptive than responding to flood events.

This is a very complex issue, involving a large number and wide variety of stakeholders. BCREA believes this stakeholder meeting, being planned for early March 2013, will be the beginning of a process that provides greater certainty and flood protection for citizens and communities around the province—and helps preserve the exceptional quality of life enjoyed in BC.

If your organization would like more information about this meeting, please contact BCREA Policy Analyst Norma Miller at nmiller@bcrea.bc.ca.
 Certainty Needed for Homes Used in Drug Operations

In September, BCREA Director Kelvin Neufeld and Dr. Joseph Clare, a strategic planning analyst with the City of Surrey Fire Services, made a presentation on the reporting and remediation of properties used in drug operations at the 2012 Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Victoria.

Neufeld and Clare described the difficulties faced by potential property buyers and renters—and the REALTORS® who assist them—who currently have no consistent method of learning whether a building has been identified as having been used in drug production, or whether it has been remediated to a standard that will ensure health and safety risks have been eradicated.

The presentation highlighted BCREA’s recommendations to the provincial government on the matter:

  1. Develop a centralized, consistent process for disclosure of property history information.
  2. Develop a centralized, consistent process for remediation of buildings used in drug operations.

Convention delegates, consisting of local government elected officials from around the province, approved a resolution reflecting BCREA’s second recommendation, above. The Association also looks forward to the recommendations of the Ministry of Justice’s Marijuana Grow Operations Working Group, which are expected soon.

 3rd Annual Housing Affordability Symposium: March 14-15, 2013 (Richmond, BC)

The high price of housing is no longer limited to just Greater Vancouver, but has extended to most of the populated areas across the province.

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.

Registration and main schedule for the Symposium will be announced in early December. For more information about the Housing Affordability Symposium, visit www.withinyourmeans.ca.
 Contact Us

Where do you stand on the public policy issues addressed in this issue of Connections? Contact BCREA at nmiller@bcrea.bc.ca 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.

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British Columbia Real Estate Association
1420 – 701 Georgia Street West
PO Box 10123, Pacific Centre
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1C6
Phone: 604.683.7702
Fax: 604.683.8601
bcrea@bcrea.bc.ca
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