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Boost Housing, Not Regulations

Audits highlighting excessive spending have put government in the news.

But it doesn’t take audits to know governments charge taxpayers far more than what’s reasonable.

Saanich Council recently approved amendments to a tree bylaw costing new homebuyers thousands of dollars.

If 5 trees are removed for development site servicing, they must be replaced – not 1 for 1, but 2 for 1.

If the trees can’t be replanted, Saanich’s fee is $300 per tree plus permit fees. At 2 for 1, the added cost is $3,000+ paid by new homebuyers.

In fact, about $6,000+ comes out of the purchaser’s pocketbook over the life of their mortgage.

The BC government recently added more costs to housing through new regulations for windows and doors.

The unclear regulations are causing municipalities to demand more expensive products which erode housing affordability.

The province’s regulatory influence will extend to accreditation of education and training for builders.

VHBA has long-supported mandatory education, and with other associations, offered to fund and manage accreditation, similar to the practice of realtors and architects.

Instead, the province decided it knows better the business of market housing.

Expect red tape and excessive costs similar to the windows and doors issue.

Government’s regulatory excess and inefficiency drive up the price of housing for families and cost jobs.

Whereas, a provincial focus on affordability and efficiency will grow housing in every BC community and put people to work.

This column and others are also available in Wednesday’s Times Colonist.

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