NDP leader John Horgan insists that a New Democrat government would fix the student housing crisis, which he claims, was created by the Liberals.
Horgan met with ‘vulnerable’ students at Simon Fraser University to show his support for their struggle.
He says an NDP government would allow post-secondary institutions to finance their own student housing projects.
“We can allow universities to borrow the money they need to make the choices they need, so that they can build housing so students don’t have to couch surf and stand in long lineups to bid on accommodation in the Metro Vancouver area. It’s wrong that the Liberals have done this and we would change it.”
Horgan explained the Liberal government has prohibited universities from building new housing without provincial approval since 2003.
But he says an NDP government would change all that.
“The Liberals are holding fast to an accounting principle rather than making sure we’re building houses, building housing particularly for students on campus so that we can get those people out of the regular housing market, leaving more space for more people who are looking desperately for affordable housing in the Lower Mainland.”
According to Horgan, the number of post-secondary students has increased by 15 per cent in 13 years, but no more student housing has been built in that time.
“There is an opportunity to build new housing on campuses. The government is in the way. They should get out of the way, they should allow the boards of governors at UBC, SFU and at the University of Victoria and other institutions, allow them to borrow the money to build this housing, it would relieve pressure on the regular market and it would provide a safe, stable environment for students to learn in.”
Earlier this month, a student group called on the provincial government to relax its rules on debt so post-secondary institutions can build more on-campus residences.