Cities call for affordability

A group that represents B.C. municipalities is calling for significant tax and regulatory changes for a comprehensive approach to more affordable housing.

It has issued a report containing 32 recommendations for provincial and federal governments based on research and best practices from across Canada and around the world.

Mayor Greg Moore of Port Coquitlam led the initiative for the Union of B.C. Municipalities and says there's not enough rental housing being built across the province, and current development is often priced beyond the budgets of local residents.

Moore says speculation by foreign and domestic investors has fuelled surging home prices in Metro Vancouver, with a spillover effect on other communities.

He says a series of tax measures to curb speculation, encourage the development of affordable rental housing and penalize profit-driven real estate flipping could make a big impact.

The union has been in talks with the provincial government, and Moore says he hopes to see some of the report's recommendations included in the upcoming budget.

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