Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland is in B.C. Wednesday.
She will be in Surrey at 12:15 p.m. PT to make an announcement on the budget’s 2022 measures to make housing more affordable in the province.
It’s a subject that is top of mind for British Columbians.
The budget promised $1.5 billion in funding for the rapid housing initiative, which helps build homes quickly for vulnerable people. At least a quarter of that is set aside for women-focused projects.
The Liberal budget also announced more than $10 billion in funding to speed up home construction and repairs, along with measures to cool the market and help those trying to buy their first home.
Federal politicians battle over housing affordability in B.C.
A report last month from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) found that while B.C.’s housing inventory is keeping up with population growth, many of those new homes remain unattainable.
The report shows that the province’s population grew 7.6 per cent while the number of dwellings grew 7.2 per cent between 2016 and 2021.
In some major cities — including Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria — new housing supply actually outpaced local population growth, the report found.
Yet the UBCM said investor-driven real estate practices and pre-sale flipping, among other practices, have continued to drive up home prices, making it difficult for first-time homebuyers in particular to enter the market.
The province has acknowledged the need for more housing supply and has even floated the idea of overriding municipalities to speed up the pace of approving new developments.
Legislation was also introduced last month for a “cooling off period” intended to stop so-called blind bidding on home purchases. But industry representatives have raised concerns that the move would simply push more risk onto sellers and do little to address the market overall.
B.C. reaction to federal budget housing investments
More to come.
— with files from Sean Boynton and The Canadian Press
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.