Affordable Housing

Kennedy Stewart puts forward made-for-BC Affordable Housing Strategy

Today, MP Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby South) tabled legislation in Parliament to tackle BC's urgent housing crisis.

"Housing prices have skyrocketed in the Lower Mainland and we are facing a serious shortage of affordable housing," said Stewart. "British Columbians need answers as to why it is so hard for families to afford homes. We need to understand the extent that high prices are being driven by investor speculation and what the government can do to increase the supply of affordable housing."

Motion 20 calls on the new Liberal government to implement a BC-specific Affordable Housing Strategy that examines and addresses the potential impact of investor speculation and housing vacancies on the high price of real estate in urban markets, among other initiatives.

"Municipalities are doing what they can, but the federal government has a massive responsibility here – starting with providing the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Statistics Canada the means to carry out an in-depth and rigorous investigation of this problem," continued Dr. Stewart, an Associate Professor on-leave from Simon Fraser University's School of Public Policy. "Once we have the facts, then we can start looking at policy measures to make sure we put families first."

A copy of MP Stewart's motion is below.

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M-20 — December 8, 2015 — Mr. Stewart (Burnaby South) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should work in collaboration with the provinces, territories, municipalities, Aboriginal communities, and housing providers to establish, develop, and implement an affordable housing strategy that:

  • (a) affirms that access to adequate housing is a fundamental right of all Canadians, as guaranteed by the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • (b) provides financial assistance, without discrimination, to those who are otherwise unable to afford adequate and secure housing;
  • (c) ensures that the cost of housing does not compromise an individual's ability to meet other basic needs, including food, clothing, healthcare, and education;
  • (d) maintains and expands direct federal investments in social housing, including not-for-profit cooperatives, in order to increase the supply of low-income housing, preserve rent subsidies, and provide funds for renovations and maintenance;
  • (e) sets targets and objectives to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness, particularly among vulnerable populations, with clear timelines and accountability measures;
  • (f) examines and addresses the potential impact of investor speculation and housing vacancies on the high price of real estate in urban markets; and
  • (g) takes into account the unique needs and housing priorities of different regions, including British Columbia.