A Prince George realtor says Premier David Eby’s plan to ease the housing shortage is admirable but isn’t sure how it will be accomplished.
Under one bill, stratas will allow owners to rent their units and there can be no age restrictions, except for those buildings set up as 55-plus residences.
Three thousand units will be opened by the change.
However, Quinlan told MyPGNow.com it’s a two-way street when it comes to strata rentals.
“Somebody says can I rent it, please? and then the restrictions and the bylaws of that level of development don’t allow it or some can also say, do I have to rent it? There are a lot of people who have properties who don’t want to rent them out.”
Quinlan added while cutting out age restrictions is long overdue, an experienced landlord will always do their due diligence on selecting the best tenants.
“If somebody has been a landlord for 10 or 15 years, they learn to get an idea on who to rent to, what to check out for and what to screen for. As far as being discriminatory, I believe that is absolutely wrong. The proper checks for people, a landlord will do that right, and again, it comes out on a case by case basis.”
The other piece of legislation will identify eight to ten municipalities next year that are deemed to be in great need of new housing.
Their councils will have to develop action plans that meet provincial targets and could face sanctions if those targets are not reached.
Quinlan believes that sounds good on paper, but he’s curious how this will be enforced.
“And it costs so much to build. That’s all there is to it and a lot of it is that since COVID we have a lot of extra costs involved in everything so it costs so much to build. So, the only thing that will make it less expensive is to take the taxpayer’s money and subsidize the buying.”
“When you look around Prince George, we’ve got tons of developments at all levels. We’ve got property areas being developed, we’ve got lots that are available in all different areas and we’ve got some high-density apartments being built.”
Today (Tuesday), Eby announced that the province will have a standalone Ministry of Housing.