Affordable housing promises made on campaign trail lack details, setting parties up for failure: B.C. real estate group

VANCOUVER — As leaders try to woo voters ahead of the Canadian federal election, affordable housing has been among the promises made on the campaign trail.

But after voters head to the polls on Sept. 20, will anything actually come of those promises?

The British Columbia Real Estate Association said in a statement Wednesday that its encouraged by the focus on affordability. But, it warned, a lack of detailed plans form all three major parties may be setting those promises up for failure.

Without plans to turn those vows into action, “campaign promises will lead to municipal bottlenecks, failed policy and disappointed homebuyers,” it said.

Without change, the association said, buyers will continue to find themselves priced out of a market with a limited supply.

The BCREA said increased supply should be the top priority from federal leaders, if they’re truly looking to make a “significant, long-lasting impact.”

“It is important for our new government to make creating a comprehensive housing strategy focused on increasing supply an immediate top priority,” the association said.

The current promises, it recapped, focus on purchasing power and consumer flexibility. Instead, according to the BCREA, the leaders should be working with municipalities to speed up development approvals.

The BCREA claims the current system allows these development pitches to be “bogged down by public hearings which cater to airing the grievances of a vocal minority.”

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Streamlining the process is key, the association says, to quickly increasing the supply of local housing.

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