The big myth perpetuated by many municipalities is that builders pay for added government fees and regulations. In fact, the end user or homebuyer pays for the costs added to any product.

This is a fundamental truth that many elected officials would rather not acknowledge.

Governments’ claims to support housing affordability clearly conflict with their ongoing actions. Housing prices continue to climb eliminating young families from the market.

A recent study by the CD Howe Institute revealed municipal regulations including fees and rezoning processes add $230,000 to the average single detached home in Victoria.

For example, Victoria council recently adopted a policy to deconstruct older homes, admitting there is a single deconstruction company in the region.

This will create a bottleneck adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home, despite builders already recycling what they can.

VRBA suggested the city support programs like Built Green and create a simple process where builders show their invoices from recycling companies. They could even offer a permit fee discount. Council disregarded this affordable, effective solution.

Municipalities can afford it. They receive a windfall from permit fees, posting large surpluses based on “value of construction” from spiraling prices of lumber, other materials and labour.

Add costly development processes, DCC’s, demands for amenities and a myriad of fees, deposits and code regulations including Step Code 3 adding $30,000 to new homes.

Millennials trying to afford homes are being undermined by their elected representatives’ misguided policies.

Councils claim builders pay, yet homes are less affordable than ever, and Victoria’s new housing is declining by double digits.

The 2022 election is an opportunity to reverse this trend.

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist newspaper.

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