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Kelowna mayoral candidates to discuss housing affordability

The forum is being hosted by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan
The Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan has launched a public awareness campaign about housing affordability. (Black Press file photo)

Three of Kelowna’s five mayoral candidates will take part in a discussion on housing affordability, being hosted by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan (CHBA-CO).

Colin Basran, Tom Dyas, and David Habib will discuss that topic on Thursday, October 13 in partnership with the Association of Interior Realtors. Candidates Glendon Smedley and Silverado Socrates were invited but did not respond, according to the CHBA-CO.

“These elections are particularly important,” said Darren Witt, CHBA-CO president. “Local politicians not only tax new housing tens of thousands of dollars before a shovel hits the ground but also set growth boundaries that have a direct impact on land prices. The ripple effect is massive. Our trades talent can no longer afford to live here, which will make housing even more expensive for everyone, and it will take more time to build a home.”

READ MORE: B.C. posts highest rate of unaffordable housing as ownership declines across Canada

CHBA-CO has also launched a Central Okanagan Votes 2022 website to help residents understand how local politicians can impact the cost of housing in their region.

The site features issues on the impact of housing costs at the local level, and shares survey answers from candidates from across the Central Okanagan.

“Over 70 per cent of British Columbians want to see more action from their municipality on issues around housing affordability,” said Daniel Winer, CHBA-CO executive officer. “We are the fastest growing region in Canada, and we are not approving enough housing to keep up with demand.”

Currently, the average benchmark price for a single-family home in the Okanagan is over $1.1 million.

“The CHBA-CO urges all Okanagan residents to do their research, get engaged, and vote for candidates that support progressive housing policies in their communities,” said Winer. “If we don’t use our right to vote, housing will grow further out of reach for the average citizen.”

The discussion will be at the Four Points Sheraton on Oct. 13 at 8a.m.

More information can be found on the Central Okanagan Votes 2022 website.

READ MORE: Canada’s renters facing higher monthly costs than homeowners: census


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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