How will candidates address affordable housing in the Cowichan Valley?

We sent MLA candidates your election questions. Here’s what we heard.

Do election candidates in the Cowichan Valley riding have a vision and plan for affordable housing? That’s a question we at The Discourse heard from you after we launched a poll asking what you think should top the B.C. election agenda. 

Leading up to the election, we’re publishing answers to questions from this community. Today, the question is: What is your vision/plan for more affordable housing in the riding?

As of Oct. 10, The Discourse has not received a response from BC Liberal Party candidate Tanya Kaul. We’ll update the story if we get one.

Sonia Furstenau, BC Green Party

The people of Cowichan Valley struggle with finding accessible, affordable housing. In Duncan, a majority (55%) of renters lack affordable housing. I recognize the critical importance of ensuring that our residents have accessible, affordable housing to support their health and wellbeing.

The B.C. Greens’ goal is that by 2030, everyone has a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. To achieve this, we need policies to make housing affordable for renters and for those looking to buy a home.

The B.C. Greens have introduced a rental support program to provide grants to low and moderate income earners who are paying more than 30% of their income in rent. We have earmarked $500 million for this program to ensure that it can provide meaningful support to renters. 

Rob Douglas, BC New Democratic Party

Too many people in the Cowichan Valley are experiencing homelessness, and many others are having a hard time paying their rent or mortgage every month. 

For 16 years, the BC Liberals allowed speculators to drive up housing costs and use the real estate market like a stock market. They turned a blind eye while criminals laundered “dirty money” and profited off a distorted housing market. Meanwhile, homelessness tripled. 

I am really proud of what the BC NDP government has accomplished in only three years. John Horgan is prioritizing affordable housing by making the largest investment in B.C.’s history – $7 billion over 10 years. More than 25,000 homes are already complete or underway, including 130 in the Cowichan Valley. And the BC NDP election platform announced a new rent freeze until the end of 2021 and a renter’s rebate of $400 to make life more affordable for renters. 

My commitment to affordable housing runs deep – as a North Cowichan councillor, I have been working with provincial and local partners on a major project to bring approximately 120 units of affordable, mixed-income housing to our community. But there is much more to do. As MLA I would strongly advocate for more investment in the Cowichan Valley, including in affordable housing.

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