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Liberal MLA introduces bill to allow mortgages for former grow-ops

Last Updated May 28, 2019 at 9:10 pm PDT

FILE- In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, cannabis seedlings grow under lights as part of a research project by students in the new cannabis minor program at the State University of New York at Morrisville, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mary Esch, File)
Summary

Police have estimated that there are 20,000 grow-ops in B.C.

Buyers have a hard time getting mortgages when they're looking to purchase homes that have previously been grow-ops

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A B.C. politician is looking at a “green” idea to create more housing stock in the province.

Chilliwack-Kent Liberal MLA Laurie Throness says he wants to allow houses that previously had grow-ops to qualify for a mortgage.

“Police have estimated that there are 20,000 grow-ops in B.C., and now with the legalization of marijuana there will be thousands more,” he says. “So it’s a huge problem.”

Buyers have a hard time getting mortgages when they’re looking to purchase homes that have previously been cannabis-growing operations and often turn to subprime lenders, largely because the homes are so damaged.

“Because most banks and insurers refuse to provide mortgages and insurance for homes previously used as grow-ops, we risk these homes being left vacant or continuing to be used for illegal activity once these operations cease to exist – more or less permanently excluding them from the market,” Throness says.

He adds the properties would have to be remediated, with a licensed home inspector confirming the fix-ups had been done.

“Everybody will be able to grow four plants and that’s a grow-op,” the MLA says. “So there could be a grow-op in thousands more homes and what’s going to happen to them in the future?”

Throness introduced the Homeowner Protection Amendment Act on May 27, and is urging the NDP or Green Party to call it for debate.