HOUSING PLATFORM ANNOUNCEMENTS BC NDP: ELECTION 2020

TAXATION
  • A temporary 100% PST rebate on select machinery and equipment.
  • A 15% refundable tax credit based on eligible new payroll for businesses.

 

RENTAL
  • Rent freeze until the end of 2021, afterwards annual rent increases will be permanently limited to inflation.
  • Income-tested renter’s rebate of $400/year for HH earning up to $80K/year and not receiving any other rental support.
PROCESS AND APPROVALS
  • Eliminate “outdated” parking minimums near transit.
  • Develop a “single-window” provincial permitting process.
  • Work with municipalities to streamline their development approval processes (DAPR).
INCREASING THE SUPPLY OF NEW HOMES
  • Recommitment to 114K new affordable homes in 10 years.
  • Continuation of Homes for BC Plan.
  • Recommitment to Housing Hub funding program offering low interest loans for projects constructing homes for middle-income households.
BELOW-MARKET AND SUPPORTIVE HOUSING
  • Recommitment to 114K new affordable homes in 10 years.
  • Expand the Housing Hub to partner with non-profit and co-op housing providers to acquire and preserve existing rental housing.
  • Through the Housing Hub, explore new affordable home ownership models include rent-to-own and equity building programs.
  • Recommitment to build 2,200 more supportive housing units through the 10-year Homes for BC Plan to address encampments.
  • Provide new rent supplements for residents of supportive housing to support their transition to independent living.
  • Recommitment to delivering 1,750 new homes both on and off reserve.
  • Lobby the Federal government to provide urgent housing for Indigenous people.
STRATA INSURANCE
  • Further to the work of the BCFSA, if rates have not corrected by the end of 2021, develop a public strata insurance option, similar to Saskatchewan.
TRANSIT, TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  • Increased connections within the TransLink network for people living in the Fraser Valley and the Sea-to-Sky region and expanded West Coast Express service.
  • Widen the Highway 1 to ease congestion by 2026.
  • Work with communities to complete the SkyTrain connection to Surrey and Langley and add new rail and rapid bus lines.
  • Support planning and development for other projects include high-speed transit to the North Shore and expansion of the rail network in the Fraser Valley.
  • Invest an addition 1% of annual GDP ($3bn) in new capital commitments including schools, hospitals, childcare spaces, roads, and transit. This includes Hwy. 1 widening.
ENVIRONMENT
  • Recommitment to and legislating of CleanBC and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Empower local governments to set their own carbon pollution performance standards for new buildings.
  • Expand CleanBC and zero emissions vehicle program to industrial vehicles.
  • Require realtors to provide energy efficiency information on listed homes to incent energy-saving upgrades
  • Spur more energy-efficiency upgrades with programs and incentives for both residential and commercial buildings including the use of the PACE program.
  • Continue to prioritize the use of mass timber in public sector construction.
  • Develop and engineered wood and clean tech innovation cluster.
  • Create a watershed security strategy to plan, manage and protect local watersheds for the public good and step up protection of fish habitat through their biodiversity strategy.
  • Identify holes in existing emergency response procedures and resources, with the goal of updating and futureproofing our province-wide ability to respond to crises.
LABOUR
  • Promote industrial and manufacturing in resource communities though a number of measures including offering training, which could assist with tall timber prefabrication.
  • Develop employment standards targeted to precarious and gig economy workers.
  • Create a government-backed collective benefit fund for independent contractors, the self-employed, and part-time workers – and expand access to a voluntary pooled-capital pension plan for workers who do not otherwise have coverage.
  • Attaching Community Benefits Agreement (CBAs) to projects launched through the Recovery Investment Fund.
  • Address skilled worker shortage through training programs, apprenticeships and support for re-certification for new immigrants.
  • Restore the compulsory trades system and give more workers access to apprenticeships that develop their skills.
  • Ensure every worker has the right to join a union and bargain for fair working conditions.
CHILDCARE
  • Exceed the current target of 22,000 new childcare spaces by expanding the childcare capital program and modular strategy for childcare. When government builds a new school, housing complex or other projects the government will work to ensure childcare is included in their capital plans.
  • Partnering with the federal government, we will expand the number of $10-a-day childcare spaces while enhancing our other affordability measures.
MISCELLANEOUS
  • A one-time $1,000 direct deposit to families whose household income is under $125,000 annually – with a sliding scale up to $175,000.
  • A one-time $500 direct deposit to single people earning less than $62,000 annually – with a sliding scale up to $87,000.
  • Recommitment to new Accessibility legislation.
  • Strengthen local communities’ ability to respond to crises, including new community safety fund, local governments can apply for funding to help them tackle street disorder, cleanliness, and public safety.  This would include strengthening their ability to respond to challenges posed to businesses and neighbourhoods by increased visible homelessness as a result of the pandemic.
  • Help BC restaurants and hospitality businesses through COVID-19 and beyond by making permanent several measures from the spring (patios, allowing restaurants sell beer).
  • Partner with Indigenous peoples through evolving shared decision making.
MORE INFORMATION

To see the BC NDP’s full election platform, click here.

Federal

January 12, 2021 - B.C. Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) – Final report on Strata Property Insurance

Over the past few months the BCFSA has been reviewing the issue of rapidly increasing insurance rates and deductibles for strata corporations. UDI has participated in their consultations and…

 

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September 24, 2020 - Canadian Federal Government’s Throne 2020 Speech

Yesterday, September 23, 2020, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the second session of the 43rd Parliament and outline the government’s agenda.

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February 2020 - Mortgage “Stress Test”

On February 18, the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Bill Morneau, announced that on April 6 changes to the benchmark rate used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages (i.e. the “stress test”) will come into effect. Currently, the benchmark is the Bank of Canada’s 5-year benchmark posted mortgage rate, which will be changed to “… the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2%.”

According to the Globe & Mail, if the policy were currently in place, there would be a 30 basis point change in the “stress test” rate, which “… would give most borrowers upward of 3 per cent more buying power.” The new approach will also be more reflective of market conditions as they change.

In addition, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is seeking input from stakeholders regarding whether the new benchmark coming into place in April for insured mortgages should also apply to uninsured mortgages. OSFI is seeking comments by March 17. UDI will be supporting the new approach, and requesting further relaxations in the “stress test”.

Provincial

October 7th, 2020 - UDI HOUSING POLICY PRIORITIES

In preparation for the provincial election, UDI developed a Housing Policy Priorities paper for consideration for all major parties.

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January 2020 - Corporate Beneficial Ownership Registry and Mortgage Brokers Act Review Consultations

On January 17, the Province announced “… public engagements on creating a central registry of company beneficial ownership, as well as modernizing mortgage broker regulation to guard against money laundering.”

The central registry would be used to improve access to information for tax and law enforcement authorities. As part of the consultations, the Government is seeking input on whether such a registry should be publicly accessible. For more information please see the consultation paper.

January 2020 - Partners for Rental Housing Launch RRTZ Report

Through the release of a landmark rental report, the Partners for Rental Housing are calling on the Provincial Government to implement appropriate guidelines for the use of Residential Rental Tenure Zoning (RRTZ), to be developed through consultation with builders and community stakeholders. The report, titled Making Rental a Reality, also provides recommendations for municipalities to support the use of RRTZ as a tool for rental growth.

Click here to read the full report

Victoria

November 19, 2020 - Rental Property Standards of Maintenance Bylaw

As part of the City’s efforts to improve rental housing and support for renters, a new bylaw has been approved to support a minimum standard of rental housing in Victoria and will come into effect on January 31, 2021.

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November 18, 2020 – City By-Election

If you own property in Victoria but live elsewhere, you might be eligible to vote in the City of Victoria by-election as a non-resident property elector.

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May 26, 2020 - Proposed Changes to Tenant Assistance Policy

The City of Victoria is seeking stakeholder feedback on a proposed change to the moving expenses section of the City’s Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP).

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April 28, 2020 - Online Communications Update

The City of Victoria is working to keep development applications moving, while continuing to provide transparency and allowing the public to continue to engage in the process.  They have significantly expanded their use of on-line communications over the past weeks and have adjusted to a new way of working.

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March 27, 2020 - Developmental Permit Application Updates

Effective Immediately the City of Victoria is implementing the following to their development permit applications:

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January 2020 - Victoria 3.0 – Draft Economic Action Plan

Victoria 3.0 – Pivoting to a Higher-Value Economy – 2020-2041. Accompanying the City’s Official Community Plan to 2041, Victoria 3.0 has a vision for a sustainable, growing, influential city that creates high-value jobs now and for the future. The aim of the plan is to create a diverse, resilient, inclusive economy over the next two decades.

https://www.victoria.ca/assets/City~Hall/Mayor~Council/Documents/DRAFT%20Victoria%203.0%20Economic%20Action%20Plan%20for%20Feedback.pdf#search=%22Victoria%203.0%20economic%20action%20plan%22

February 2020 - Development Cost Charge Increase

Council direct staff to bring forward an amendment Bylaw to establish a Consumer Price Index-based 2.5% increase to DCCs.  On February 27th this amendment will go to council for consideration of introductory readings. Read the report here.

February 2020 - Air Space Parcel Zoning and Fee Increase

On Thursday, February 20th at the City of Victoria’s Committee of the Whole meeting Council were discussing air space parcels and amending the Zoning Regulation Bylaw so that it includes the same air space parcel regulations that exist in Zoning Bylaw 2018.  The end result will mean that air space parcels will be treated in a consistent manner across the city and they can be accommodated without a rezoning application, assuming the development is not seeking changes to use or density.   At the same time the City’s Legal Department also brought forward a report to amend the fee schedule for air space parcels – due to the extensive complexity of reviewing air space parcel applications.  The fees could potentially increase from the now $150 – $250 to $15,000.

Reports:
Presentation: Accommodating Air Space Parcels in the Zoning Bylaw
Report: Accommodating Air Space Parcels in the Zoning Bylaw
Report: Air Space Subdivision Fees

Saanich

November 16, 2020 - Saanich Electric Mobility Strategy

Saanich Council unanimously approved the Electric Mobility (E-Mobility Strategy). The Strategy is intended to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles and e-bikes in our community, recognizing the important role they play in achieving Saanich’s climate targets.

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April 6, 2020 - Extension of Construction Hours

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January 2020 - 2020 Climate Plan

The District of Saanich is taking action to protect their community, improve their quality of life, and reduce local and global risks associated with a changing climate.  The PLAN VISION is that by 2050, Saanich will be 100% powered by renewable energy and will be a resilient, thriving community, where climate action has improved the quality of life for all people in Saanich.

Click here to read more:  https://www.saanich.ca/assets/Community/Documents/Planning/sustainability/2020-climate-plan-web-v13.0.pdf

https://www.saanich.ca/assets/Community/Documents/Planning/sustainability/2020-Climate-Plan-intro.pdf

December 2019 - DCC Review

The Urban Development Institute – Capital Region has been heavily involved with Saanich’s Development Cost Charges (DCC) review over the past year, providing feedback to staff and Council on the proposed DCC rate increase.  We have been opposed to the increase as proposed by staff and have communicated that at every opportunity. As well, in the interest of working collaboratively with staff we have suggested solutions to mitigate the potential negative consequences.  UDI remains very disappointed that on Monday, November 25th council voted to enact the full increase without implementing any of our suggested revisions that would have helped to mitigate the industry hardship and prevent negative consequences for Saanich housing.

Click here to read more: https://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/local-government/departments/engineering-department/development-cost-charges.html

Langford

March 23, 2020 - Inspection and Permit Updates

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Esquimalt

April 14, 2020 - Extension of Construction Hours

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Industry Updates

April 6, 2020 - Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Clarification to CMHC’s Multi-Unit Mortgage Loan Insurance (5+ units) on flexibilities related to COVID-19 – Payment Deferrals

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April 13th, 2020 - FortisBC introduces new financial support for customers

COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund provides immediate relief to residential and small business customers facing hardship and a flexible framework for recovery.

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