British Columbia

Federal government can boost housing affordability with more incentives, board of trade says

Tax changes, incentives to build near transit and loans for laneway homes are just a few of the suggestions outlined in the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's report.

Tax changes to support rental buildings, incentives to build near transit, loans for laneway homes suggested

Rows and rows of single-family homes are seen in this aerial shot of Vancouver.
The report focuses on steps the federal government could take to improve housing affordability in Metro Vancouver. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has some suggestions for Ottawa on how to improve housing affordability in Metro Vancouver.

A new report calls on the federal government to create more incentives to build homes near rapid transit, change the Income Tax Act to support new rental buildings, and look at freeing up federal land for rental development.

It also suggests creating a tax credit or loan program for building new rental homes and for homeowners to build laneway houses or secondary suites on their property.

"While the federal government's National Housing Strategy makes meaningful strides, the board of trade believes the federal government can unlock more housing — especially rental housing — by using a broader set of tools within their toolkit," said vice-president Evi Mustel in a statement.

The report says people would need an annual income of just over $200,000 to both finance and cover the costs of owning an average home in the Metro Vancouver area.

It also estimates that in as little as six years, most of the people working the most in-demand jobs still won't be able to afford a single-family home in our region.

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