VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The first time homebuyer loan program set up by the BC Liberals will be reviewed and possibly scrapped if the NDP comes to power with Green support as expected.
The BC Liberals set up a loan that’s interest and payment free for five years, suggesting it was a leg up for those trying to get into the housing market. But given the widespread concern shared by economists, NDP housing critic David Eby says the program is worth a review.
“Our intention is to review this program,” says Eby. “To review it in light of documents that were released by the government the day after the election that showed that this program was sharply criticized by the federal government, and in addition, that there appears to have been very little uptake on the program. It certainly isn’t working as intended and if it had worked as intended the obvious impact would have been significantly increasing condo prices in a limited supply environment.”
Eby says those who are already in the program would not be affected by any possible changes.
“We were told by economists at SFU, UBC, CMHC that the impact of the program would be to increase the cost of the housing stock,” says Eby.
“Essentially a transfer of money directly to developers and people selling their existing homes, and put people further into debt. So if that is truly the impact of the program in Metro Vancouver, then that’s something we want to review and make sure there’s not a better way we could allocate the $700-million that’s been allocated to that program.”