In my final week as VRBA President, I want to thank Times Colonist readers for reading this regular column.

VRBA is the leading industry voice for safe, healthy, energy efficient, affordable housing. Our advocacy includes:

  • Renovation Tax Credit

A renovation tax credit would address seismic safety, asbestos mitigation, energy efficiency and more in the majority of older housing stock.

  • Amalgamation

The CRD has 13 mayors and almost 100 councilors in a region of 360,000 people. The BC govt’s policy of municipal self-determination undermines responsible regional planning, which is necessary to address housing affordability for a large generation of millennials.

 Single Property Transfer Tax

BC often charges the PTT three times on the development of a single home, all paid by new homebuyers. If a tax must be paid, fairness dictates the tax should be transparent and paid once.

 Building Permits as Fee for Service

Many municipalities charge building permits as a tax based on the home’s market value, similar to the Property Transfer Tax. Permits should be charged as a fee for service such as providing inspections.

 Housing Affordability

The path to affordability is never through higher govt fees and new taxes, including the Speculation Tax which only serves to undermine housing supply and skilled jobs. Also, regulations for new homes like Step Code add costs and risk with little impact reducing GHGs.

VRBA will continue advocating sensible, affordable solutions on behalf of consumers and our members.

Thank you all for your support. I have enjoyed my year as President and offer best wishes to my successor, President- Elect Jenny Martin.

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This column is available in Wednesday’s Times Colonist.