According to BC Assessment, the total property value of homes in the North went up in 2016 by 1.9% and by 1% in the entire province.
The numbers have raised concern in the government’s official opposition; they believe the results of the assessment reflect what BC needs for housing.
“That doesn’t have any impact,” says Selina Robinson, NDP MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville.
“We have to start looking at this and we have to start addressing this increased inflation in property values that’s going to come back to bite us.”
The BC NDP critic for local government claims the numbers will affect more potential home-owners than what people are led to believe, and the NDP would’ve responded quicker to the situation.
“As a result now, we have an unbearable market. And even for those who are in the market, the people I’m most concerned about right now that I’m hearing from, they’ll lose their home-owners grant. So now, they have to come up with an extra almost $600 in property taxes that, before, provincial government used to cover.”
She adds getting into the market right now will continue to be tough for young people wanting to save up for a home.
“Right now, if we were to have this increase in what it means to live in this province, then what that means is that it becomes very unaffordable for us to live here, especially when we have flat wages. That becomes a problem when it’s only rich people that can live here and that’s not good for anybody.”
Robinson believes the new HOME Partnership program starting on January 16th won’t provide enough funds to locals wanting to live in their own province.