Businesses in British Columbia are struggling to attract and retain talent due to the high cost of housing in the province.
That’s according to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade which is calling on the provincial government to consider changes to various areas of taxation including those directly affecting the housing market.
The concerns have been made in a letter to BC Minister of Finance Carole James signed by Iain Black, president and CEO of the Board.
Citing the significant impact of “an influx of new housing measures” introduced by all levels of government and the resulting slow down of sales and uncertainty for developers, the Board says that it has meant a reduction in housing starts which “will only intensify the pressure on the housing market and will worsen the affordability and availability issues.”
The Board says that 73% of its members say their ability to attract and retain talent has been affected by housing costs, rising to 91% among businesses with 50+ employees.
“The GVBOT believes that appropriate solutions to alleviate the affordability crisis include increasing and diversifying the supply of market, non-market, and rental housing in Greater Vancouver,” the letter says.
What should happen?
In the letter, the Board calls for the BC government to “review and reassess the efficacy of the additional School Tax’s application to development properties and spilt assessments as well as the increase in property transfer taxes and the Speculation and Vacancy taxes costs to future homeowners and businesses.”