Why you should send a message
Data – and the lived experience of so many people – shows that owning or renting a home in BC is as expensive as ever.
- Annual rent costs are up between $3,000 (Kelowna) and $500 (Prince George) since 2016.
- The average home price in BC is $750,000. That would need to fall by about half for a younger person to be able to afford it with their current income.
- It still takes 18 years of full-time work for a 25-34 year old to save a 20% down payment on an average-priced home. Live in Metro Van? You’ll be saving for 26 years.
Thing is, you’ve heard these numbers before. That’s because this problem isn’t new. And with all the people who have lost some or all of their income because of Covid-19, the impacts of the housing affordability crisis – like people being unable to pay rent or defaulting on mortgage payments – are only getting worse.
Sure, governments have taken some steps to tackle these challenges. But they haven’t actually committed to making sure everyone in BC can afford a good home. Sound weird? We agree. That’s why we’re asking you to call on all provincial parties to finally commit to ensuring all British Columbians can afford a home within the next 10 years (2030) in their election platforms. It’s about time.
So why is this goal so important?
Housing will stay unaffordable until governments explicitly recognize that rising home prices (especially beyond what local people earn) are a problem, then make a clear commitment to solving it that’s supported with targets and a plan.
It holds governments accountable to reaching it. If governments don’t set a goal with targets, they’ll never know if their housing policies are actually making the kind of difference that’s needed. Having a goal also means that policy decisions related to housing must be guided by it.
It sets a clear timeline to measure progress against, and that aligns with Canada’s National Housing Strategy, the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 climate targets, etc. That gives us 10 years to get things right!
- It’s fully inclusive. That means no one in BC is left out. From those suffering from homelessness to the many middle-income residents being crushed by their bills, everyone deserves a good home they can afford.
The fact that British Columbia hasn’t prioritized and made a commitment to ensuring everyone can afford a good home is unacceptable – especially when people are struggling so badly to make ends meet. This election, call on party leaders to set a goal of solving housing affordability within a decade.