B.C. NDP proposes new housing-crisis laws

WATCH:The NDP have introduced a proposal they think could help address the housing affordability problem. As Nadia Stewart reports, the opposition bill has no chance of passing but key parts of it could become law.

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s Opposition New Democrats are attempting to tackle the province’s housing affordability crisis with a series of private member’s bills that includes a two-per-cent speculation tax.

NDP Leader John Horgan says people can’t afford to live in Metro Vancouver, which hurts the vibrancy of the city and impacts the economy.

He says many young people are leaving Metro Vancouver because they can’t afford homes and companies can’t recruit people because of the high cost of housing.

Horgan says the Housing Affordability Fund and Speculator Fee Act propose to collect a two-per-cent tax on the assessed value of property owned by those who don’t pay income tax in Canada and that money would go into an affordability fund.

He says the Property Transfer Tax Fairness Act also seeks to prevent investors from exploiting loopholes in the law to avoid paying the Property Transfer Tax.

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Housing Minister Rich Coleman says the government is already working on some of the issues raised by the NDP bills, which often stand little chance of passing.