B.C. Premier John Horgan and the NDP government see the proposed speculation tax as a means to help create downward pressure on the housing market, but some part-time Victoria residents see it as unfairly penalizing them for purchasing B.C. homes in advance of retirement. Another reader calls that a privilege to which not every resident has access. (Black Press file photo)

Housing takes a different meaning depending on one’s financial situation

Reader responds to part-time Victoria resident’s letter on implications of B.C. speculation tax

Re: Part-Time Victorian feels betrayed by province over speculation tax, May 19

Our housing crisis means different things to different people.

In Canada, housing is a privilege. Not a human right.

The majority of households in Victoria are not homeowners. Almost half pay more than a third of their monthly income on rent. Here, the living wage is $20.50, up 8.2 per cent since 2014; but, in those four years, maximum allowable rents have increased by 15.3 per cent.

Renters, unlike residential property owners, receive no annual homeowner grant. No tax deferral (if over 55, or living with children). No renovation rebates. No City of Victoria ‘rainwater rewards.’ Little protection exists for renters facing large-scale eviction from older, affordable rental units due to demolition, renovation, repair, or redevelopment.

Many modest-income, senior tenants, live alone on the brink of homelessness; here, in a city of wealth and waterfront enclaves such as Shoal Point.

Residential property has become a lucrative capital investment; or, retirement nest-egg; not only for domestic and overseas individuals, but for corporate interests seeking safe haven. Rather than being satisfied with laws that protect property – and, a tax favouring homeowners over renters, some demand increased privileges.

Canada can’t put a roof over everyone’s head. Those owning more than one home need not expect extra benefits. Imposing a surtax on properties whose value exceeds $3 million, and whose owners reside here part-time, would not appear to be an unbearable burden. This is not a betrayal of trust. It’s the cost of enjoying property ownership, when others struggle to pay the rent; or, remain unhoused.

Victoria Adams

Victoria

Just Posted

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

New Carnarvon Park field-house could cost $4.3M

Both tennis and pickleball courts are included in new draft plan

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read