When Christy Clark’s government released its budget in February, many advocates were hoping for real action on soaring housing costs. British Columbia’s economy is growing and investments in affordable housing in this budget – for the last full fiscal year before going to the polls in 2017 – had the potential to address the severe crisis many British Columbians are facing.
Experts have roundly criticized BC Premier Christy Clark’s recent home ownership grant policy. A key part of the negative reaction has been based on fears that interest free grants will increase housing prices and drive a further wedge between incomes and housing costs, a divide already plaguing the Vancouver and lower mainland markets.
On September 22 and 23, the Broadbent Institute hosted Progress Summit BC to chart a progressive path forward for the province in this critical election year. In the panel entitled 'Retrieving affordability: progressive policy solutions for BC’s housing crisis' panelists were asked to outline what practical, progressive, policies can ensure future generations of lower and middle-income British Columbians can live and thrive in their cities. A summary of their remarks are outlined below.