Langford has long led the CRD in building affordable, energy efficient homes.

The reason is their support for affordable small lots, efficient permit processes, and market programs like Built Green.

Langford’s leadership is more apparent as BC govt policies like the Step Code and Speculation Tax erode housing affordability.

BC’s Step Code circumvents the National Building Code and adds significant costs for negligible benefit.

Mayor Stew Young says Langford plans to disregard BC’s risky Step Code, and support Built Green and the national code committee’s diligence, affordability study and public consultation on achieving more energy efficiency.

This saves 25% of the region’s housing stock from a costly, ineffective regulation.

The national committee meets this week in Vancouver.

Langford also asked the BC govt for an exemption to the unfair Speculation Tax which adds thousands of dollars annually to homes owned by Canadians transitioning to retirement in Victoria.

The BC govt’s scheme, which does not address speculation, has already resulted in canceled housing projects and lost jobs.

Mayor Young acted quickly to express support for employment and affordability in his community.

On the other hand, Victoria council recently adopted the Step Code despite unrealistic provincial cost estimates and lack of national oversight.

A few North Shore municipalities adopting the Step Code recently discovered exposure to high levels of radon, which can cause lung cancer without proper ventilation – a classic case of unintended consequences.

In addition, Victoria has not asked for a Speculation Tax exemption. Council continues with unrealistic demands for low density, affordable housing and significant green space in the high-cost core.

A developer recently said Victoria’s permit processes added more than $85,000 per unit.

If housing affordability is important, and amalgamation is ever considered for this region, voters might want to consider the name “Langford” for their new city.

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist newspaper. 

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