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  January 2017

Continued Focus on Housing Affordability

Real estate and housing affordability captured intense government, media and public attention throughout 2016. The year ended with the BC Government's December introduction of the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership to assist first-time homebuyers achieve their down-payments, which BCREA supports. And, this week, the government announced an increase to the Home Owner Grant threshold to $1.6 million. The grant reduces the residential property tax burden on principal residences.
Now, in a rare occurrence, BC Finance Minister Michael de Jong has invited British Columbians to provide feedback and opinions on the 2017 Budget through an online engagement process. From BCREA's perspective, it is a very positive sign that the first of three discussion points highlighted to begin the budget conversation is housing affordability.
This unique engagement opportunity provides the public, whether seasoned professionals or first-time homebuyers, a platform to support BCREA's consistent message encouraging the provincial government to support and implement ideas and programs that improve market housing affordability.
Feedback can be provided in a variety of ways, including online through comments, sending email directly to the minister, and by signing up to take part in regional town hall phone calls occurring throughout January. The engagement process will remain open until January 30, 2017.
For the minister's engagement process, BCREA will promote recommendations that:

BCREA strongly believes ensuring appropriate housing options for all is critical. In December, the Association adopted a comprehensive public policy position on market housing affordability. This will be the focus of BCREA's attention—and probably many others—during the upcoming provincial election.
BCREA's complete position on market housing affordability is available here.

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