Vancouver has been his home for many years but Brett Carels says it’s getting harder to imagine a future here.
“The city is now controlled by developers and no one is talking about it. And it really, really disappoints me that the Canadian dream is disappearing,” he said.
And he isn’t the only one feeling frustrated. Carels was one of 700 people who attended a public forum to express their concerns over Metro Vancouver’s red-hot real estate market.
Many said all three levels of government should be doing more to curb runaway real estate prices and increase housing supply.
WATCH: Town hall to be held on Vancouver’s housing crisis
Among the solutions offered — taxing foreign property owners and speculators.
“If it’s a pied-à-terre and you’re not earning any money in Canada and you’re wealthy from elsewhere, yes you have to pay a higher property tax,” said Thomas Davidoff of UBC’s Sauder School of Business. “If you leave it vacant, of course you’re going to pay a higher property tax. But you can invest in property, rent it out and you’re off the hook.”
The BC New Democrats announced that proposal will be included in two bills set to be introduced in the legislature on Thursday.
What you need to know about ‘shadow flipping’ in Vancouver
NDP leader John Horgan said their goal is to “close the loopholes around shadow flipping and to keep a record and track who is buying homes so that we can ensure that if they are buying homes from offshore they are paying a higher level of tax than those people who are living here today.”
Even if they aren’t the solution, Horgan says the bills are a start. He’s hoping the Liberals will at least hear him out.
– With files from Nadia Stewart