Election housing promises panned by B.C. coalition
The housing planks of the B.C. Liberal and NDP platforms are being panned by a coalition of B.C. social-housing advocates.
Ivan Drury, an organizer with the Social Housing Coalition B.C., called the Liberals’ housing platform “pretty easy to summarize”.
“There is a section in the Liberal platform that talks about what they have done in the 12 years they’ve been in power, and of course it has a pretty rosy view of what the outcomes of those years have been,” Drury told the Straight by phone. “But it says nothing about the future whatsoever.”
The Liberal platform states that the government has spent $3.2 billion on affordable housing for “low-income individuals, seniors, and families in communities across the province” over the last decade.
The NDP platform, which was released on April 24, includes a pledge to build “up to 1,500 units of affordable non-profit, co-operative and rental housing for low- and moderate-income families, seniors and individuals each year”.
Drury said the housing coalition is disappointed the document does not include a mention of social housing in particular, and that the party is vowing “up to 1,500 units” without committing to a specific number.
According to Joe Trasolini, the NDP critic for housing, construction, and business investment, the 1,500 units promised by the party includes a combination of housing. “This runs the gamut of social housing and co-ops and so on, and partnerships,” he said in a phone interview. “The idea is to leverage our investment with opportunities that exist.”
The NDP platform also promises to “strengthen and rebalance the Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Owners Act to better protect tenants and landlords”.
Trasolini said these changes will be determined with public consultation.
Demands from the Social Housing Coalition B.C., including a call for 10,000 units of social housing per year, have been endorsed by over 50 groups.