BC REALTORS® and Housing Stakeholders Call for Housing Roundtable
CATEGORY: Advocacy BCREA
TAGS: Housing Affordability Housing Policy Housing Sector Collaboration Permanent Housing Roundtable
On April 20, 2023, the Surrey Board of Trade hosted the Housing Crisis Solutions with Minister Ravi Kahlon event to discuss innovative solutions to British Columbia’s housing crisis with the Minister as he shared his vision to alleviate housing challenges.
Co-sponsored by the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), and Uniti, this event highlighted speeches from housing stakeholders concerned about BC’s ongoing housing attainability crisis, where BCREA and FVREB formally pitched the need for a permanent provincial housing roundtable to the Minister of Housing.
BCREA announced support for this initiative from a diverse collection of organizations across the housing sector, illustrating the need to establish a permanent housing roundtable to review and provide advance feedback on potential new housing policy. See associated news release.
Supporting stakeholders include the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, Active Manufactured Home Owners Society, Appraisal Institute of Canada – BC Association, BC Non-Profit Housing Association, BC Real Estate Association, Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association – BC, LandlordBC, Mortgage and Title Insurance Industry Association of Canada, Small Housing BC, and the Surrey Board of Trade.
At last Thursday’s event, BCREA’s Senior VP of Policy Research & Advocacy, Trevor Hargreaves, stressed the “great deal of housing policy expertise that exists right across this province. [However], these are voices that very rarely gather at a single table.”
FVREB’s Chair of the Stakeholder and Government Relations Committee, Tore Jacobsen, asserted that FVREB is “encouraged that the provincial government recognizes the reality of the crisis and appreciates the funding and strategies aimed at making a lasting impact.”
Nevertheless, some recent policy passed by Premier Eby’s administration demonstrates the lack of collaboration between the provincial, local, Indigenous governments, and housing stakeholders across the housing continuum. A proactive, consultative process is needed to prevent unintended negative consequences of various housing policies, such as the fallout from the Building and Strata Statutes Amendment Act, which banned age restrictions for any age below 55 in strata buildings. This resulted in even fewer opportunities for growing families and first-time homebuyers, as some strata corporations have shifted their age limits to 55-plus. This consequence could have been anticipated and perhaps mitigated had the housing sector been properly consulted.
Jacobsen added that as policy-minded stakeholders in the housing sector who desire greater governmental consultation on housing policy, we want to be there to provide guidance and expertise to housing policymakers.
“What we are calling for today is the establishment of a formalized housing roundtable so that when the provincial government is looking at implementing new ideas, they run it past a series of representatives drawn from within the housing continuum,” Hargreaves said.
As the voice of BC REALTORS®, BCREA is dedicated to advocating this recommendation for a permanent provincial housing roundtable and will drive this message forward to elected BC Members of the Legislative Assembly during our annual Government Liaison Days in Victoria, at the beginning of May.
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