BCREA's Government Liaison Days

May 17, 2019

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Moving the dial on real estate advocacy issues

Market housing affordability, anti-money laundering and remediating properties used to produce drugs were the priorities at this year's Government Liaison (GL) Days, which took place in Victoria at the Hotel Grand Pacific from April 28 to 30.

Minister of Finance Carole James, BCREA President Michael Trites and BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde at BCREA's Government Liaison Days.

GL Days is BCREA's key advocacy event that brings together delegates from all of BC's 11 real estate boards to learn about advocacy issues and best practices and meet with their local MLAs. Through GL Days, delegates become important grassroots links between the real estate profession and MLAs, establishing a foundation for successful ongoing advocacy work.

Advocacy priorities
Each year, BCREA works with local boards to identify key advocacy priorities to ensure balance among regional concerns. This year's priorities impact REALTORS® and consumers across the province. Two of the priorities - market housing affordability and anti-money laundering - are top of mind for the public, government and media. The third - remediating properties used to produce drugs - is an issue that REALTORS® and real estate boards are calling on the government to devote more resources to. Here are the recommendations BCREA and delegates made to government on these issues:

Market housing affordability

  • The BC Government should set an end date on the Speculation and Vacancy Tax, based on predefined outcomes. What market threshold is the government seeking to reach? Actual market specifics around the term "affordability" have never been stated publicly and clarity is needed.
  • The province should urge the federal government to review and reconsider the current mortgage underwriting "stress test," as well as reinstate 30-year amortizations for federally insured mortgages. This federal initiative has significantly stalled BC home sales by locking a sizeable number of potential buyers out of the market based on outdated guidelines that ignore mortgage rate changes since implementation.
    • Anti-money laundering

      • The provincial and federal governments, and their respective agencies, should coordinate their actions, share information (such as the provincial pre-sale assignment registry) and create a comprehensive, efficient enforcement regime.
      • The Real Estate Council of British Columbia should develop required anti-money laundering licensing and relicensing education for REALTORS®.
        • Remediating properties used to produce drugs

          • Government should develop a consistent process to remediate buildings used in drug production to ensure they are safe.
          • All local governments should implement the new uniform remediation policies and practices.
            • To read more about each of the three priorities, please follow the links below:

              MLAs praise REALTOR® engagement
              In total, delegates connected with 68 of the province's 87 MLAs. Feedback has been positive, with MLAs praising real estate boards and delegates for their thoughtful, productive approach and for providing REALTOR® insight on issues important to all British Columbians.

              Congratulations to all the real estate boards and delegates for helping move the dial on these key real estate advocacy issues. We look forward to continuing to work to ensure REALTORS®' perspectives are recognized as invaluable to smart public policy.

              To view the Government Liaison Days 2019 video, click here.

              BCREA is also building a stronger presence on social media regarding advocacy and regulatory issues and you can help by following BCREA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for updates.

              Pictured: Minister of Finance Carole James, BCREA President Michael Trites and BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde at BCREA's Government Liaison Days.

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