In Brief:

  1.  Zoning laws and rent controls must be eased
  2.  Reduce or eliminate property transfer tax
  3. Eliminate the School Tax
  4. Lift some of the red tape builders must go through before breaking ground
  5. Eliminate the BC Building Code.  It is redundant, as municipalities and the    Federal Government already have codes.  
  6. End speculation tax; it has not served to lower prices
  7. No home purchases by numbered companies
  8. Adjust the Residential Tenancy Act to make investing in rental properties and renting space in primary residences more desirable to increase inventory and drive down pricing.
  9. Phase out rental-assistance programmes that drive up prices.
  10. Stand against money laundering through real estate.
  11. Liberate those parts of the Agriculture Land Reserve that are not arable.


In summary:

The BCLP would like to make it easier for the builder of a high rise to compensate nearby residents who feel a loss of pleasure from having a high-rise in their neighborhood. Under current rules, you get no compensation and this just creates lots of destructive NIMBYism. And it causes local corruptions since builders have to spend lots of money to persuade city councils to let them build what they think they can sell. As it stands, most of the available land in BC, is zoned by our municipalities, which means that it is kept as single family housing which only multi-millionaires can afford in our current market.

Municipal zoning cannot restrict the provincial housing supply, neither for rentals nor ownership.  Based on vacancy; when the vacancy rate is below a certain extreme threshold, let’s say 2% or 1.5%, the province will direct municipal governments (source of legal authority?) to dramatically increase multi-unit residential developments within the municipality.

Taxes add cost to the overall cost of a residential property, whether it is a primary residence, vacation home, or investment (rental) property.  The Property Transfer Tax costs the buyer thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, even for a modest property.  Based on the average cost of a house in Vancouver, the Property Transfer Tax is around $70,000. Based on the average cost of a condominium, it is $7,640.  Those amounts alone can cross the line of affordability.  We will also end the additional school tax and ineffective Speculation tax.

In order to lower housing prices, both for purchase and rent, we must increase the inventory of available properties.  In order to encourage builders to build, we must eliminate the red-tape delays or even prevent building.  Before even breaking ground, builders must go through lengthy and time consuming processes of applying for various permits and approvals of questionable necessity.  This red tape has pushed developers to build mostly luxury properties, for which they can charge more.  These properties are priced out of most peoples’ affordability.  The BCLP will eliminate the BC Building Code because it is redundant.  Safety standards are already set out in municipal and federal codes. 

Rental-assistance programmes, though undoubtedly well-intentioned create two problems.  First, they create a dependency on government (taxpayer) funding.  The recipients are not motivated to remove themselves from the programme.  The landlord can raise prices knowing that the renter is receiving these funds.  Ideally, the market will determine what the landlord can charge.  Also, when the government (taxpayers) subsidize any project, developers know that they can get a part of the extra funding and may charge more than market-value pricing.

While the BCLP does not want to deter foreign buyers, we do not want to enable money laundering or money parking.  Foreign investment has helped keep BC builders and all related supply industries busy and providing employment through financial fluctuations.  Unfortunately, BC has had some money of questionable origin going through our systems.  In order to prevent anyone from hiding ill-begotten gains from the CRA or their own foreign government, we propose that no numbered companies can be the owners of local real-estate.  Names of people and corporations must be associated with real-estate.

In order to encourage investors to buy properties for rental purposes, we must address the components of the Residential Tenancy Act to make investing in residential rental properties. As it stands, the rules are skewed heavily on the side of renters, regardless of damage to property, non-payment, or other rule-breaking.  The intention is to increase inventory of rental spaces, and thus inspiring competition, to ultimately drive down pricing.

Finally, 95% of the land in BC is crown land (owned by the government). Of the remaining 5%, half is designated as Agriculture Land Reserve which means it cannot be used for housing even though it is privately held, close to the city, and does not produce satisfactory revenues for the farmer. About 15-20 percent of ALR lands are not arable and must be made available for sale, should the owner care to sell or develop the land.