What to Know About BCREA's Government Liaison Days Happening in May
TAGS: Energy Efficiency Govern Government Liaison Days Housing Affordability Housing Supply
Government Liaison (GL) Days is an annual event where REALTORS® meet with MLAs across BC, speaking with a united voice to advocate for key housing-related issues and improving Quality of Life in BC communities.
This event has a long history, first taking place in Victoria in 1988. Due to COVID-19, participants won't be able to meet in-person but will still meet virtually. GL Days is non-partisan to allow participants to focus on policies rather than politics. This approach is an important tool to drive forward smart policy and build strong relationships with politicians.
This year's sessions will take place virtually on May 4 and 5. During the sessions, Realtors will be oriented on the lobbying materials, trained in effectively meeting with MLAs by video, and provided with a housing market outlook by BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. This year's speakers will include Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing David Eby and Global BC's Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey.
In subsequent meetings with their local MLAs, which will take place in the first part of May, participants will advocate for policies that result in more British Columbians reducing their carbon footprints and increasing the impact of energy assessment tools.
BCREA and Realtors are concerned about the Ministry of Finance's mandate letter requiring Realtors "to provide energy efficiency information on listed homes to incent energy-saving upgrades." Participants will use their meetings as an opportunity to inform MLAs of a Realtor's role in a transaction. Recommendations include:
- consult with real estate sector stakeholders and homeowners before requiring energy assessments on existing homes,
- ensure that an energy assessment tool is available to owners of all existing homes, and
- coordinate an energy assessment tool with other programs.
The brief for energy efficiency and homes is available here.
Participants will also advocate for providing more housing opportunities to British Columbians by increasing housing supply. The provincial government can enact policies to streamline the development process, using the government's 2019 Development Approvals Process Review as a roadmap. Recommendations include:
- empower Official Community Plans to reduce unnecessary public hearings, and
- leverage transportation funding and OCPs to encourage local governments to increase gentle densification.
The brief for improving housing supply is available here.
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