Case Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), doubts that the 2019 provincial budget will lead to more affordable housing. (Black Press File).

Head of Victoria homebuilders says provincial budget won’t solve housing crisis

Casey Edge of Victoria Residential Builders Association dismisses more modular housing as a band-aid

The head of the association representing residential home builders in the Greater Victoria is giving the 2019 provincial budget a thumbs-down, when it comes to solving the housing crisis.

Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), said the budget presented by the New Democratic minority government does nothing to improve the supply of market housing.

“Only supply can result in more affordable housing,” he said in linking rising housing prices to predictable demographic trends. The current period of high prices coincides with baby boomers downsizing and millennials — the largest demographic group since the baby boomers — entering the market, he said.

RELATED: VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

RELATED: B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

While Edge acknowledged the inclusion of 200 modular housing units, he dismissed their impact by describing them as “band-aids” that do not address fundamental issues.

This current government, like previous ones, including those headed by B.C. Liberals, continues to gives municipalities self-determination. This philosophy has splintered the region into 13 municipalities and prevented the development of a comprehensive regional plan that aligns housing with transportation.

“Regional planning is absolutely essential to housing affordability,” he said.

Without it, municipalities are free to pursue their own plans, especially when it comes to identifying areas of density (or not). “And it is density that heightens affordability,” he said.

Other obstacles to affordability include “exceedingly slower” development processes and rising costs, said Edge.

“But clearly there is nothing in the budget that is going to change that,” he said. In this context, he points out that British Columbians will see the carbon tax rise, even though Canada as a whole contributes 1.6 per cent to global greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions.

If the global community wants to be serious about cutting GHGs, they would go after the six countries that contribute 60 per cent of global GHGs, he said.

He also wonders whether the provincial government is being upfront with the public about the issue of affordability.

On the one hand, the provincial government expects new housing starts to fall by 25 per cent by 2021-22, he said. On the other, it predicts that residential revenues will rise to $1.9 billion in 2021-22. This, however, means fewer houses are selling at higher prices, thereby destroying any future prospects for more affordable housing, he said.

“You can’t have your cake, and eat it too,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria councillors propose waiving parkade fees to support essential workers

Motion coming to committee of the whole for consideration

Royal BC Museum joins home education trend with outreach programs

Free webinar options available for RBCM@Home and kids’ programs, starting March 31

Woman comes home to ‘entirely different’ Victoria after cruise ship, military base quarantine

Melanie Sibbitt booked herself a last-minute vacation on a cruise ship hit by COVID-19

COVID-19: Victoria moves homeless into 35 hotel rooms across the city

Mayor pleads with residents to stay inside during pandemic

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read