BCREA and Member Board Delegates Advocate for Improved Housing Attainability at 2023 Union of BC Municipalities Convention

Sep 28, 2023

Posted by
Brenna Friesen
Policy Analyst


Last week, BCREA and five BC real estate boards sent delegates to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Vancouver to meet with local and provincial political leaders and staff. Throughout the event, BCREA’s delegates strongly advocated for greater housing attainability, and distributed a brief to elected officials containing two recommendations described below.

Our primary recommendation was that as the provincial government advances the missing middle initiative announced in the Homes for People plan, they should consult not only with local governments, but also with industry, particularly builders and designers, so that regulations do not discourage, but rather encourage the construction of Missing Middle Housing.

Our secondary recommendation was focused on non-metropolitan municipalities, which often have similar housing supply issues but with different causes than their urban counterparts. We recommended that they conduct their own housing roundtables with local contractors, builders, and trades, to determine the unique obstacles and solutions to creating more housing supply in their communities.

BCREA also had a tradeshow booth, where convention goers received our housing policy briefs, had the opportunity to complete a housing policy survey, and engaged with the face of BCREA to better understand our advocacy and BC REALTORS®’ perspectives on housing attainability.

UBCM Resolutions

At the convention, UBCM voting delegates (councillors and mayors) voted on a series of resolutions. While non-binding, endorsed resolutions will be presented to the BC Government for consideration. Endorsed resolutions relating to real estate include:

  • BC Housing Delays: UBCM lobbies the provincial government to address delays at BC Housing.
  • Expanding Property Transfer Tax Exemptions: UBCM urges greater exemption from Property Transfer Tax payments to support the creation of non-market housing.
  • Municipal Authority for Empty Homes Tax: UBCM lobbies for municipalities’ ability to tax unoccupied Class 1, Residential properties.
  • Short-Term Vacation Rental Listing Platforms: UBCM asks for legislation requiring short-term rental platforms to demonstrate local government approvals, list rental property addresses, and provide government enforcement mechanisms.
  • Incentives for Heat Pumps and Other Climate Resilience Retrofits in Multi-Residential Buildings: UBCM requests that all dwelling types are eligible for incentives and rebates for retrofits.
  • Enhanced Retrofit Programs for Part 3 Buildings: UBCM requests the improvement of programs available to all Part 3 buildings.
  • Property Transfer Tax Sharing for Local Governments: UBCM advocates for sharing property transfer tax revenue with local governments.

Resolutions Endorsed with Amendments Include:

  • Homes for People Action Plan: UBCM asks that legislation implementing the Homes for People Action Plan not apply without input from local governments.
  • Affordable Housing Infrastructure Upgrades: UBCM urges the province to fund infrastructure and land acquisition for the creation of affordable housing.
  • Development Approvals: UBCM urges expedited review of development applications requiring approval from the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and BC Hydro.

While the 2023 UBCM convention is over, we remain committed to advocating on behalf of BC REALTORS® and consumers to address challenges in the real estate sector. BCREA and our Government Relations team continue to support thorough, evidence-based housing policies that increase housing attainability for British Columbians.

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