BCGEU brings housing affordability forum to Okanagan audience

BCGEU hosts housing affordability forum in Kelowna

Government policies created the housing affordability crisis in B.C. but changing those policies can fix the problem, according to the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU).

The BCGEU’s affordable housing forum in Kelowna Tuesday heard how zoning and land-use policies combined with speculation, sustained low interest rates, large real estate loans and foreign investment in B.C. created a perfect storm that has made owning a home out of reach for many local residents.

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“Workers and residents need a new system that restores fairness, stability and security to our housing market and to the real estate transactions that shape it,” the BCGEU’s Affordable B.C. paper states.

“The objections is that people who do not live here or make an income here, who do not occupy the properties they own or that do not allow the property to be occupied at all (through rental to others), have displaced residents and workers who themselves seek to buy or rent a home,” according to the BCGEU.

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The BCGEU suggests reforming property taxes, zoning, amending real estate laws and investing in public housing and infrastructure.

More information on the BCGEU plan can be found on the union’s website here.