Letter: More must be done to address housing affordability

It's time for elected officials to take real action to address housing prices

Surging real estate prices in Oak Bay are benefitting some, but hurting others.

My wife grew up in Oak Bay, her parents live here, too, we both work nearby, and our daughter goes to Margaret Jenkins.

We both earn professional salaries and have been renting here while saving up to buy a house.

We want to stay in our community, but prices shot up by more than a quarter million dollars in our neighbourhood this spring. We now may have to move elsewhere.

The influence of questionable foreign capital on Canadian real estate markets – and how our elected officials are dealing with the problem – is generating a lot of buzz.

In response, the B.C. government recently put a 15 per cent tax on foreign real estate purchases in Greater Vancouver.

This week, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson followed suit by announcing plans to tax empty homes.

Here in Oak Bay we are having a conversation about infill.

Yes, infill is important, but utterly insufficient to prevent our neighborhoods from being used as Swiss bank accounts, especially if no barriers to foreign capital exist here compared with Vancouver.

Average home prices here in Oak Bay are on par with Greater Vancouver. It is time for our elected officials to take note and take real action.

Aaron Hill

Oak Bay