Kelowna Lake Country Green Party candidate Alison Shaw.

Green candidate says affordable housing major issue

Alison Shaw says low rental rates in Kelowna and around the province being ignored

Housing prices, availability and the rental market are all issues being ignored so far in the B.C. election campaign, according to the Kelowna Lake Country Green Party candidate.

“Affordable housing and real estate speculation have been a neglected issue in British Columbia,” said Alison Shaw. “As a result, thousands spend more than half their income on rent. This is inexcusable. We have a federal government clamping down on mortgages to ensure that no more than a third of people’s income will be spent on housing, and yet as housing availability crests the 0.5 per cent mark in Kelowna, many are left with no other options.”

Shaw wants to work with local governments to enhance existing housing support programs in the area and look to other jurisdictions for ideas about how to reframe the run-away real estate market in Okanagan. She is also passionate about taking a stronger stand against unethical landlords in this hot environment.

“Housing is such a critical piece of maintaining a thriving local economy,” said Shaw. “We need to be asking incisive questions about what are other cities are doing to curb these market impacts? Would a foreign buyers tax be an advantage in the Interior market or some other regulatory instrument?”

The BC Green Party Affordable Homes Strategy will work alongside a suite of other BC Green initiatives that address other relevant aspects to housing affordability such as minimum wage, inflation, and income insecurity, said Shaw.

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