Housing Policy

‘50,000 OVERSEAS-OWNED BC HOMES TARGETED FOR SELL OFF TO LOCALS’ - FEBRUARY 27, 2017

Today a new BC Political Party was launched in BC and its first major policy announcement is a wide range of bold initiatives to create affordable housing for over 150,000 BC citizens.

The BC Citizens First Party aims to give BC Citizens priority access to BC housing ahead of overseas based owners.


Accordingly all overseas residents would be banned by the party from buying residential housing property in the Lower Mainland of BC from the date of the BC election on May 9th 2017.  In addition all current overseas owners of the estimated 50,000 empty or infrequently used homes on the Lower Mainland will be required to sell their homes within 12 months of the election.  These sales  must occur at public auctions, with a requirement that the properties can only be sold to individual citizens (excluding private companies and corporations) with any intermediate ‘in trust” ownership declared illegal. Unsold residential properties at the end of 12 months would be forfeited to the BC Government.


The Leader of BC Citizens First Party, Mr. Phillip Ryan, said these two housing initiatives “will quickly free up 50,000 infrequently used homes for 125,000 BC citizens across the entire Lower Mainland. BC Citizens currently cannot get access into a housing market being artificially restricted and inflated by speculating overseas owners seeking massive returns on investment by simply leaving their properties either dormant or empty.”


Mr. Ryan said “The imposition of a 15% tax on overseas owners by the BC Government did nothing to address the large historical stock of overseas owned homes purchased over the last 10 years by speculative overseas owners.”  “Last week’s BC Liberal Budget also offered no new measures to create affordable housing for our BC Citizens. The BC Liberal government has failed its citizens by not delivering affordable housing” said Mr. Ryan.


Whilst the ban and forced sales by current overseas owners will initially be restricted to residential properties across the Lower Mainland , the BC Citizens First Party says it is willing to expand the public policy initiatives across other areas of BC, including Victoria, if so requested by local councils outside the BC Lower Mainland.


Other housing policy initiatives announced by the BC Citizens First Party today include:

  • Using the more than $650 million in new property transfer taxes from the sale of overseas owned homes to build 9,000 new affordable rental units for an additional 22,500 BC Citizens, and as a result produce 13,000 jobs in the building and construction industry (by augmenting the current BC Budget allocations).
  • Restricting Airbnb (and other shared economy rental providers) to 'partial property' and not 'whole-of-property' short term rentals across the Lower Mainland, with mandatory property owner registration, a requirement that registered owners must live in the shared economy property whilst it is rented, as well as strata corporations being given new powers to place liens on properties where owners breach strata rules which ban short term rentals.  BC Citizens living in the Lower Mainland will be given a one month per annum allowance for 'whole of property' rental of their primary living residence whilst on a vacation.
  • Ongoing monitoring of Airbnb and other shared economy rental providers will be undertaken by a new province-wide BC Digital Police Force which will focus solely on internet and digital breaches of law.
  • Creating an extensive provincial Housing Registry of all owned, rented and vacant residential properties in BC in order to gain a wider understanding of the entire housing market in the province from which future public policy decisions can be designed to create more affordable housing.  All residential property owners will be required to provide their citizenship status, an annual update on annual rent revenue for their property (if any), # bedrooms, # individual tenants in the year, # days occupancy by each tenant.
  • Immediately freeing up underutilized land across BC work, and working cooperatively with local BC governments and the Government of Canada in order to build and invest in more housing which can be owned and operated by governments whereby residents of the properties are paying no more than one-third of their household income in housing costs.
  • Continuing to fund the First Home Buyers Home Partnership program primarily because under our party's new overseas ownership restrictions first home buyers will not need to borrow as heavily as they would be required under the BC Liberals current ineffective housing policies.
  • Support senior citizen accommodation by creating a Residential Care Infrastructure Fund of $100 million over three years for the immediate renewal and replacement of older residential care homes. Investing $5 million per annum in education and training to address current chronic labor shortages in seniors care.  Allocating $2 million per year to launch a new Care Credits program which provides seniors [or the family members that care for them] the option to select the service provider of their choice.
  • Specific homeless accommodation programs will form an integral part of our party's health policy programs to be announced shortly.

Mr. Ryan said his party’s housing policy is the only housing policy from any major party in BC which will immediately increase the supply of affordable housing stock by over 50,000 homes for 125,000 people in the next 12 months, and also directly increase new rental stock by almost 10,000 units in order to support an additional 22,500 people. 


“That’s 150,000 people who will now have a pathway to reasonable and affordable accommodation under our party’s policies. Banning 'whole-of-property' short-term rentals on Airbnb will also open up even more rental accommodation opportunities for BC Citizens across the Lower Mainland of BC” said Mr. Ryan. 


Mr. Ryan said his party will be announcing a range of other significant public policies during the coming election campaign again whereby BC Citizens will be given priority across a wide range of services in BC. 


“I encourage all citizens of BC to visit our website www.bccitizensfirst.ca, join our party, donate funds for our campaign and consider standing as a candidate for our innovative citizen-focused political party” said Mr. Ryan.


Mr. Ryan noted that under this housing policy permanent residents will only be allowed to own residential properties if they become citizens within 12 months of the election, or within 12 months of first becoming eligible to become Canadian citizens. If they are currently serving their first four years of probation permanent residency then they must also be able to demonstrate they have CRA Income Tax Assessments for their entire global income for each year of their entire permanent residency to date. People on temporary work visas will not be eligible to purchase residential properties across the Lower Mainland.


Contact Party Leader: Phillip Ryan, 604-355-4069, Email: p.ryan@bccitizensfirst.ca.


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