B.C. premier says affordable housing crunch hurts growth, families, province

Horgan speaks to business leaders at Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Premier John Horgan says British Columbia boasts Canada’s strongest economy but growth is threatened by a shortage of affordable housing for workers and their families. Premier Horgan answers questions from the media during a press conference following the speech from the throne in the legislative assembly in Victoria on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Premier John Horgan says British Columbia boasts Canada’s strongest economy but growth is threatened by a shortage of affordable housing for workers and their families.

He says if a community can’t provide housing for workers then those workers can’t build much needed affordable housing or sustain local economies.

READ MORE: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

Horgan told business leaders at the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce that it’s a puzzle his government is trying to solve with the recent family-focused budget and last year’s $7 billion investment in a decade-long affordable housing strategy.

Horgan says the City of Victoria recently put an affordable housing project on hold because it can’t find the skilled workers to build the initiative.

The chamber’s chief executive officer Catherine Holt agrees, saying the Victoria area needs affordable housing for workers who are bypassing good jobs because they can’t find places to live.

The premier added that housing in B.C. means providing places people can afford to live in, not something that is part of a speculators dream of flipping property as if it’s a commodity.

The Canadian Press

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