Liberal housing platform hints at land seizures

Federal Liberal bash spokesman claims “use it or reduce it” statement in election brochure does not mean expropriation of non-public land

The federal Liberals have elevated some issues in B.C.’s real estate community with an election assertion, unveiled September 1, that hints at governments seizing privately-owned vacant land that could be utilized for inexpensive housing.

A Liberal election brochure detailing its Housing Strategy states that a re-elected Liberal governing administration would create a $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund “which will increase the annual housing provide in the country’s premier cities each and every 12 months.”

The fund is aimed at a concentrate on of 100,000 new residences by 2024-24, which  would be affordable to “middle-class” prospective buyers.

Nevertheless, the statement goes on to browse:

“We will also function with municipalities within this application to establish vacant or underused property that must be converted to housing on the theory of use it or get rid of it – that core urban land should be offered for new housing, not still left vacant as an unproductive investment decision residence.”

Some, these as the B.C. Real Estate Affiliation (BCREA), see the “use or reduce it” phrase as a veiled reference to attainable seizure of privately-owned land if the authorities decides it ought to be made use of to supply housing.

An Ottawa-based spokesman for the Liberal Occasion of Canada dismissed the term as a “colloquial indicating.”

“We are not proposing the seizure of private land,” he explained in a phone interview from the Liberal campaign’s media office environment. The reasoning at the rear of the statement is that some of the $4 billion in federal funding could be utilised by main municipalities to acquire this kind of land and transform it to housing, he discussed.

When asked what would occur if a land operator with a prospective household web-site refused to sell, the spokesman said, “I really do not know.”

The BCREA, which released a assertion August 31 contacting on governments to enable boost the provide of housing, is among individuals questioning the federal Liberal messaging.

“Regarding the “use it or lose it” line in the Liberal party platform, in addition to a quantity of challenges linked with the coverage – which include a prospective infringement on house rights – it is critical to see facts around how “vacant or underused” will be tackled,” stated a statement from the BCREA’s senior communication specialist.

“We are happy to see the conversations around housing affordability take centre stage in the course of the election marketing campaign,” said BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde. “Even so, what we have seen promised so significantly falls small of what is needed to make a major, extensive-lasting impact. It is important for our new government to make creating a complete housing strategy focused on increasing supply an immediate top priority.”