This was a feel good budget, I guess, and many people seem happy enough. However, I still have concerns about the housing issues.
Most of the policies put in place so far (homeowners grant increase, speculation tax, foreign buyers’ tax etc) are aimed to help those locals already wealthy enough to buy into the upper end of Vancouver housing. Meanwhile, many items to help lower income citizens (MSP elimination, the promised renters’ rebate, student loan changes) are delayed, most without dates attached.
The housing plan sounds good with $6 billion over 10 years, and I am very glad to see commitments for seniors, indigenous folks, women under threat, and students. But so far as I can see only $453m has been specifically set aside for “affordable” housing for the general public. I’ll need to see the details before I start to cheer.
Acceptance of a formal definition of “affordable” would certainly help, with policies designed to ensure that level of affordability. And once again much can be done at the municipal level and I urge immediate changes to speed things up.