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Sensible Solutions to Improve Housing

As a VRBA member, I encounter issues that have common sense solutions, yet are often difficult to achieve.

The following are a few proposals to improve housing in BC:

Uniform Building Code

Multiple municipal interpretations of the BC Building Code waste money and resources. A simple solution is uniform interpretation enforced by the province, a common practice in the rest of Canada.

Amalgamation

The CRD has 91 councilors and mayors in a region of 360,000 people. Our region’s planning and governance model is out of step in a world of climate change and rising costs. Let’s consolidate and work together on issues of housing, transportation and infrastructure.

Single Property Transfer Tax

BC often charges the PTT three times on the same property during development. These costs are paid by homebuyers. If a tax must be paid, fairness and affordability dictate the tax should be charged once.

Accredited Training for Builders

Energy efficiency in homes is increasing with a goal of Net Zero by 2020. To avoid unintended consequences, BC needs mandatory education and training administered by industry, similar to realtors and architects.

Asbestos Abatement Rebate

The federal government promoted and subsidized asbestos in homes. Now there are stringent and costly regulations for handling this material. A renovation rebate for asbestos abatement is essential to promote health and safety. A new home or renovation is usually a family’s largest investment. We can improve affordability, health and safety, and professionalism by implementing these solutions.

It’s just common sense.

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

This column appears every Wednesday in the Times Colonist.

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