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Amendments to a bill spark debate in the legislature

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VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Report after report show housing prices are still climbing, but the issue doesn’t have its own minister in the provincial government. The opposition says the Liberals aren’t taking our housing crisis seriously.

Rich Coleman has the title of the Minister for Natural Gas Development and Minister responsible for housing. He presented a bill in the legislature today which oddly combined natural gas act amendments with amendments to the residential tenancy act.

NDP Critic David Eby says it’s time for a full time housing minister. “For a province-wide crisis of housing, we have a part time minister. Insufficient rental housing. Rents sky-rocketing, taking in some parts of the province more than half of residents’ incomes. In the Lower Mainland, major concerns about the impact of international capital on the residential housing market. Families hoping to buy homes, let alone two-bedroom condos, who are priced out of a market that increasingly has no connection to the amount of money that they can earn in British Columbia.”

He calls housing unaffordability an afterthought for the Liberals. “It’s the issue of the day and this government is totally absent, well not totally absent. The minister responsible for natural gas and, oh yeah… housing, he thinks that housing in the Lower Mainland is actually ‘pretty affordable.’ Astounding.”

The average price of a detached home in Metro Vancouver hovers in the $1-million dollar range.