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

I hope you enjoyed our CARE Awards magazine delivered in the T-C Oct 26 celebrating VRBA’s leaders in sustainable home design and construction. You can still view the projects at www.careawards.ca.

VRBA is also the professional 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 province’s policy of municipal self-determination undermines responsible regional planning needed for housing affordability..

  • Single Property Transfer Tax

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

  • Building Permits as Fee for Service

Building permits are often charged 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 inspections.

  • Housing Affordability

The path to affordability is through more supply, not higher govt fees and taxes, including the Speculation Tax undermining supply and skilled jobs. Regulations like the Step Code offer little impact on reducing GHGs, while boosting costs and consumer risk.

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, Kyle Ryan, President- Elect.

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.

Visit us at www.vrba.ca and www.careawards.ca. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.