Clark hints at housing relief 'front-and-centre' for B.C. budget
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, January 13, 2016 8:39AM PST
VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark says British Columbia's high housing costs are on the government's radar as it prepares to table its budget next month.
Clark says housing relief options are one of the top issues for her government, but she didn't make any announcements beyond saying the issue remains under consideration.
Earlier this month, the government raised the provincial homeowner grant threshold to $1.2 million to ensure that 91 per cent of B.C. property owners were eligible for the $570 grant to be subtracted from their property taxes.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has called for the government to take bold action in the form of luxury and speculation taxes to cool the market where average detached home prices in some city neighbourhoods surpassed $2.5 million.
The premier says the province is wary of making moves that reduce the equity homeowners have accrued in their homes over the years.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong said last fall the government is interested in helping first-time home buyers enter the market.