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

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

Federal government commits $9.1 million toward UVic Indigenous Law building

Contribution supports Canada’s first Canada’s first Indigenous Law program

Soul Shakers kick off free outdoor concerts in Oak Bay

Music fills the air at Willows Beach Park for series of concerts this summer

PRIDE on the Barge caps off last Friday of Pride Month

Starting at 5 p.m. with music from Rocksteady

National HIV Testing Day comes to the West Shore

17.1 per cent increase in new HIV infections in Canada between 2014 and 2017

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Sandwiches and mascara could mean driving fines

RCMP say if you cause an accident well eating you could be penalized

Delta cat severely injured in animal trap was likely stuck for days, owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read