As an individual with close ties to both real estate and charity work, I couldn’t help but notice on my recent European tour that the housing crisis is an issue shared by many countries beyond our Canadian borders. I also couldn’t help but compare the B.C. NDP’s model of applying punishing speculation taxes to address the crisis with those adopted by countries such as Finland.
ARA, The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland, monitors costs and quality standards, promotes innovation and excellence, and has tackled many of the issues with different strategies. Some include offering grants and guarantees on long-term loans and financing the provision of affordable rental housing. Other initiatives include applying a mix of preventative measures to social and land policies.
According to FEANSTA, an international organization working to end homelessness in Europe, Finland has actually managed to decrease the number of homeless persons without taking money out of its citizens pockets, (and ultimately its economy). If you would like your B.C. government to start looking at other ways – smarter ways – to deal with this very real issue without applying harsh taxes, contact your MLA today.