S & P 500

No support for green plan to study ways to cool PEI housing market.

A Green Party motion to explore ways to cool Prince Edward Island’s boiling housing market was defeated on Wednesday, gaining no support from either Liberal or Conservative MPs in the Legislative Assembly. of Prince Edward Island.

The motion called for the creation of an independent commission to study the issue and report back in twelve months.

He also called on the parties to support a “Lands Protection Act-style settlement” for housing in PEI. interest and to improve access to property.

The PEI Lands Protection Act. limits the amount of land that individuals and corporations can own in the province.

“Imagine for a moment if the Lands Protection Act didn’t exist here in Prince Edward Island? What do you think our land ownership would look like?” Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker asked MPs during debate on the motion.

Strong increases

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s House Price Index, a tool for measuring house price trends across the country, house prices on the island have risen 26% over the past 12 months to March 2022. Nationwide, the increase was 11%.

Meanwhile, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said rental costs in Prince Edward Island rose 8% in 2021, the biggest increase in a decade, and the increase housing costs has for months made Prince Edward Island’s inflation rate the highest in the country, reaching 8.9% for the month of March.

The province’s apartment vacancy rate in 2021 has fallen to 1.5%. In 2018, the rate hit a low of 0.3%.

On the same day the green push for an independent housing commission failed, the government made it clear that its new residential tenancy law, the first draft of which was completed in 2019, will not be ready for tabling in the legislature. before the fall.

This bill seeks to modernize the current rental legislation that was developed 30 years ago. The government says it will send the bill for further consultation as it tries to strike a balance between protecting the rights of tenants and landlords.

Declare housing a human right

The Greens have lobbied for legislation to declare housing a human right and say government actions would increase the commercialization of the housing market.

They say rising prices are pushing future generations of Islanders out of the housing market.

“Housing cannot be both a commodity and a human right. They cannot exist together,” Green MP Steven Howard said during debate on the motion.

Opposition Leader Peter Bevan-Baker says there are different tools the province could choose to further regulate the housing market, but says for now the government has decided to “let it go”. (Radio Canada)

Some of the measures the Greens hoped a housing commission could explore include a vacancy tax on empty homes and a deposit requirement on home purchases that increases as a person buys more properties, a measure intended to reduce speculation.

“The government could make various choices if it so chose to regulate the market,” Bevan-Baker said. “So far, the government has decided to let it go.”

Housing Minister Brad Trivers voted against the motion and urged his colleagues to do the same.

Trivers said the wording of the motion seemed to presuppose that speculation was actually driving up housing prices in PEI. whole. They had already drawn their conclusions in the motion, which is why I could not support it.

Debate on the motion was hijacked as it was first introduced when Environment Minister Steven Myers accused Bevan-Baker of speaking “out of both sides of his mouth” on the issue because he once owned a secondary residence.

Bevan-Baker said the second property was meant to be a retirement home and was sold after her second election victory in 2019 delayed the former dentist’s retirement plans.

Myers’ words were deemed unparliamentary and he retracted them.