Premier Christy Clark is calling out B.C.’s municipalities, which she says are standing in the way of new housing development.
While B.C. housing prices have finally started to cool, the effects are being mostly noticed at the top end of the market rather than the condos would-be first-time homebuyers have their eyes on.
Asked what can be done to help those would be owners, Clark took aim squarely at B.C.’s city councils who she says have been slow to rezone and open up more supply.
“Ultimately, cities like Vancouver and surrounding municipalities are going to have to decide that they want to be a part of the solution. Because the province can not do this without them,” she told reporters.
Citing changes the province has made already, like scrapping the property transfer tax for homes under $750,000 and offering down payment loans to first-time homebuyers, Clark said the province has already done what it can.
“The changes that we can make at the provincial level are really kind of addressing demand. The only way to really solve this problem is to address supply, and that is 100 percent in the ballpark, on the side of the field for the cities. They need to step up and do their job here.”
It remains unclear whether the government will unveil any housing-related surprises in next week’s provincial budget.