VANCOUVER— Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal Government created the crisis in housing affordability by doing absolutely nothing for two years except deny that families were caught in a housing crisis, and in that time, the cost of a home rose by more than $600,000, says B.C. New Democrat Official Opposition leader John Horgan.
“B.C. New Democrats and the BC Chamber of Commerce first raised alarms about the distorting effect of offshore real estate speculators on our housing market back in June 2014, when the benchmark price of a home in Metro Vancouver was $976,700,” said Horgan.
“The benchmark price climbed past $1 million in 2015, and was moving sharply upward in May 2015, when Premier Clark’s housing minister told people that he thought prices were still ‘reasonable’, and dismissed affordability as an issue.
“One month later, in June 2015, as prices kept shooting up, Premier Christy Clark continued to deny that there was a problem for B.C. families trying to find an affordable home, and said publicly that people unable to afford a home in the Lower Mainland should think about moving north to Fort St. John.”
Horgan said that it wasn’t until July 2016, when the benchmark price had climbed to $1,578,300, that Premier Clark finally admitted that people were facing a crisis in affordability and imposed a sudden tax on foreign buyers.
“By the time Premier Christy Clark was willing to admit she had stood by while this crisis escalated, the benchmark price of a home in Metro Vancouver had skyrocketed by more than $600,000, pricing an entire generation of young B.C. families out of their own housing market.
“A recent survey of people in Metro Vancouver found that two thirds of residents don’t think that they will ever be able to afford a home in Christy Clark’s B.C.,” said Horgan.
“I believe it’s very important that people understand that the premier deliberately ignored the concerns of economic experts, the B.C. New Democrat official opposition, and thousands of people who called out to her for help as prices rocketed out of reach for an entire generation of British Columbians.
“Premier Christy Clark was served warning of this coming crisis more than two years ago. She chose to do absolutely nothing for two whole years, until a full-on crisis forced her to act. The premier’s reluctant and sudden tax has done nothing to make housing more affordable for young families.
“Today, we’re in the middle of a perfect storm of unaffordability for B.C. families. If Premier Christy Clark had taken action at any point over the past two years, housing would be more affordable today, the real estate market would not be the unpredictable, volatile market it is today, and the dream of home ownership would be a lot closer for thousands of British Columbians.”
Here is a link to a graphic on the cost of Premier Christy Clark’s two years of neglect, and the original June 2014 call to action from the BC Chamber of Commerce and B.C. New Democrats: http://bit.ly/2d1aOff