If a Liberal minority government holds up, how could the BC Green party change how the province tackles the housing crisis?
During the election campaign, party leader Andrew Weaver had pledged to make changes to the property transfer tax by introducing a sliding scale, as well as an aggressive increase on the foreign buyer’s tax to the tune of 30 per cent.
UBC economist Tom Davidoff says the Greens had rolled out a platform which seemed to target the high-end of the housing market.
“It’s really concentrating on adding taxation and discouraging foreign or even vacation-type investment or speculative I should say investments in high-end homes. The luxury market would certainly take a downturn if the Greens had their way.”
Davidoff also says Weaver had made pledges to increase supply of affordable housing and to protect renters, but says it’s likely the Greens would need to meet either the Liberals or NDP halfway.
“The Greens did mention during the campaign re-visiting single family zoning and making sure individual municipalities behave responsibly in terms of how they zone. That would be the most consequential thing they could do to force municipalities to enact reasonable zoning laws, but they seemed to downplay that later in the campaign. I don’t know if they’ll insist upon that if they form part of government.”
Davidoff says it’s also key to remember the NDP had promised and heavily promoted a $400 dollar renters’ grant if they won the election.
He suspects the NDP and Greens have more in common on housing issues than the Greens have with the Liberals.