The BC NDP will target multiple areas to improve housing affordability, according to the party’s released comprehensive platform this morning.
For renters, there will be rent freezes through the end of 2021 and a permanent cap on increases to the rate of inflation from 2022 onwards.
A renters’ rebate will also offer $400 annually for households earning up to $80,000 annually that are not already receiving other rental support.
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For apartment homeowners, the BC NDP are proposing to develop a public strata insurance option, similar to the model established by Saskatchewan, if the recent policy changes to strata insurance are unsuccessful with lowering rates by the end of 2021.
When it comes to stimulating new housing supply, there will be an aim to reduce construction costs to make homes more affordable.
“By bringing down costs for developers, we can bring down the cost of housing for people,” reads the platform.
“We’ll streamline and modernize housing construction by eliminating outdated parking minimums in projects close to public transit, develop a single-window provincial permitting process, and work with communities to streamline approval processes at the local level.”
A new 10-year housing plan also plans to stimulate 114,000 new, affordable homes, including tens of thousands of new homes for middle-income families generated by low-interest loans to non-profit and co-op housing providers.
For homeless and other low-income individuals, the number of supportive housing units will grow by 2,200 units over the coming decade, up from the already-built 2,800 units. This will help curb existing homeless encampments and prevent new encampments from being created.
The transition for individuals who are ready for independent living from supportive housing will be assisted by new rent supplements. This effectively frees up space in existing supportive housing.
Additionally, the BC NDP will complete the remaining units in its previous $550 million commitment to build 1,750 affordable homes for Indigenous people, both on- and off-reserve.