• Glen Staples

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: North Island-Powell River candidates housing affordability

Housing prices on Vancouver Island continue to rise, pricing some people out of the market and creating challenges in tourism areas that are in need worker housing. What is your party’s plan to address affordable housing in the North Island-Powell River?

What is my party’s plan to address affordable housing? Well, I don’t have a party so that is an advantage over the other candidates. I can support any good ideas that come from any other party. I am a journeyman carpenter; I built, bought and sold several houses, therefore, understand the market forces.

There are many factors that have increased housing prices.

• Airb&b has taken some housing off the local market while bringing in more tourists that require tourism services that need workers that are short of the very same housing.

• Many larger houses are under-occupied.

• Speculation, foreign investment, money laundering and citizenship demands have driven up prices in larger centres driving locals further out.

• Shortage of skilled labour makes building more expensive.

• Consumers have higher expectations.

• Excessive regulation. There have been so many regulatory changes in construction all of which increase the cost of housing; safety, building code, environmental engineering etc. (On some issues such as GHG emissions and finance we need more regulation, in construction we need less.)

• Land prices and zoning. BC has limited suitable land compared to most other parts of Canada, therefore, limiting its availability. The price of land is often a large part of the total price.

From long houses to log houses people always supplied their own housing. Generally, I am in favour of trying to move back to having people be more self-reliant, with less nanny-state government trying to do too many things directly for people. Market forces will correct prices in time. However, the government does have a role in regulation. This is a complicated issue; I would appreciate input from constituents: . In the end, my conscience and my constituents will help me make the right decisions.

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