The B.C. government has announced a hefty increase for the homes owners grant threshold to match the large increase in property assessments in Metro Vancouver
Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the Homeowners Grant is being increased from $1.2-million to $1.6-million, an increase of 33% from last year.
He says it’s to keep property taxes affordable.
de jong says it also ensures home owners who got the grant last year will again get it this year.
The move comes ahead of a provincial election in May, and a week after BC Assessment announced property assessments in Metro Vancouver have risen 30% to 50% in the region.
NDP welcomes the news
The opposition NDP is cheering news the grant threshold will climb but is asking “what took so long?”
Housing critic David Eby says the province knew property assessments would spike this year and wait left vulnerable residents in the dark.
READ MORE: Critics say homeowner grant boost not enough
“There’re so many people who are at risk of having to give up homes that they bought that they could barely afford because people leverage themselves so far, they borrowed money for downpayments from friends and family or from private lenders. There’s a huge number of people that are living paycheck to paycheck and stretched themselves to get into the market, and any increase is unsustainable to them.”
Eby wouldn’t say what he thinks a fair threshold would be but says any change should account for big differences in regional valuations.
With files from Simon Little