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Developers' friends and family buying up housing units creates debate amongst parties

Last Updated Jun 19, 2016 at 6:43 pm PST

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There is no simple solution, but you do have to look at everything: Liberal MLA on housing

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –┬áIt’s hard enough to find housing and a report from the Globe and Mail says many condo developers are selling the most affordable units to family and friends before they hit the market.

“It’s quite heartbreaking for people that are trying to get into the market so desperately right now to know that what limited stock that is available is not even available to the general public is really a hard pill to swallow,” says NDP Housing Critic David Eby.

He believes there are specific problems in the Metro Vancouver updates.

“One of the challenges of the model we have for building housing, especially housing for people who live and work in Vancouver or Metro Vancouver, is to be entirely reliant on private individuals to build that housing and to make it available in a way that is fair and equal to everybody. The reality is that they have no legal obligation to do that.”

He believes there are unique challenges in Metro Vancouver.

“In the absence of any legal obligation to sell to somebody or sell in a certain fair way, then the government has got to have a look at this and say ‘is there a way to make affordable housing more accessible to people? What measures should we be taking?'”

He says international buyers are taking up a large part of the market and continue to buy more places in order to make a profit.

Eby believes adding a tax on foreign home buyers could help ease the situation.

While Liberal MLA Peter Fassbender hinted the province will be introducing new legislation in the near future, but warns the housing crisis is complicated and can’t be fixed by a wave of the hand.

“There is no simple solution, but you do have to look at everything. You also have to look at everything and you also have to look at the inter-relationship with various steps that you might take. Unlike the opposition, we are looking at all of the elements.”

Fassbender says one partial solution includes having more housing available for people to buy but the government is still collecting all the data before they take any steps to change the law.

“We’re doing the analysis, we’re doing the research on foreign buyers and what that means. So what I can say on behalf of the premier and the government is there will be more coming from the government as we move forward.”

He points to the increasing of property transfer tax as proof the province is taking action.