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  January 2018

BCREA's Year in Review: 2017

2017 was a fruitful year for BCREA.

In the spring, we implemented a bold campaign focusing on housing affordability during the provincial election. We launched, reached over 100,000 people on social media, and received significant media attention for our recommendations. We were pleased to see all three political parties emphasize housing issues.

Housing continued to be a key topic throughout 2017, as the provincial government announced several housing policy changes in its September Budget Update. They included a pledge to support construction of 1,700 units of affordable rental housing and a promise of $7 million in additional funding for the Residential Tenancy Branch. BCREA supported both developments.

Over the summer, BCREA established a Drug Operations Advisory Group to bring together professionals concerned about insurance and financing for properties that have been used to produce drugs. As the federal government plans to legalize and regulate cannabis by July 2018, it is imperative that regulations for home drug production are in place.

Late in 2017, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) announced changes to how real estate trading services licensees will operate. Starting March 15, 2018, limited dual agency, where a licensee represents more than one party in a real estate transaction, will no longer be allowed. There will also be greater disclosures required from licensees to consumers. BCREA worked hard with OSRE and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia to emphasize that any new rules must prioritize consumer safety and be fair for licensees.

In 2017 BCREA also advanced our focus on evidence-based research and analysis. We commissioned two major research projects and one public survey to inform our policy recommendations. Based on our research, we submitted official responses to five provincial and federal government consultations on housing affordability, real estate practice, mortgage regulations and cannabis legalization.

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