Editorial: Must prioritize a primary house for everybody


You will have seen not too long ago that the province is increasing the hypothesis and emptiness tax into the Cowichan Valley.

You will have additionally seen not too long ago that we’re in a housing disaster, with not sufficient locations for folks to dwell.

The 2 are intimately related.

The tax was instituted first in among the province’s largest city areas equivalent to Vancouver and surrounding cities, to attempt to handle the dire housing state of affairs.

Now North Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan may even fall underneath the tax come 2024.

In communities like these round Cowichan Lake there are a variety of properties that sit empty for a lot of the yr. In some instances they might not be used in any respect for years at a stretch.

This isn’t uncommon in communities the place vacationers flock in the summertime, however the variety of year-round residents is restricted.

There are additionally some of us who purchase a number of properties strictly as an funding and go away the properties sitting idle till housing costs go up, then they promote for a revenue. This type of pure hypothesis could also be nice for an investor’s pocketbook, but it surely’s horrible for communities, house consumers and renters.

The hope is that, going through the brand new tax, these homeowners will determine, at least, some sort of long-term rental settlement, so the home will present a house for somebody who wants it.

And there are lots of people in want of someplace reasonably priced to dwell in Cowichan.

A whole bunch of individuals are dwelling full-time in leisure automobiles, both in RV parks, folks’s driveways, or as nomads shifting from place to put forward of bylaw enforcement. Others don’t have the luxurious of a roof over their heads in any respect.

A latest impartial evaluation discovered that the tax helps to maintain housing costs and rents decrease within the locations the place it has already been carried out.

With the housing state of affairs the way in which it’s, we have to prioritize the wants of those that don’t even have one house, not to mention two or extra.

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