LETTER: Phase out rent controls to encourage affordable housing

From reader Stuart McDonald

In a recent column Councillor Mike Dailly talked about the housing crisis in Nelson and much of Canada and I agree that there is a housing crisis.

I had never heard of the change in the capital gains deduction as being a cause of the problem though taxation levels are a very important consideration when investing.

I have always understood the lack of rental housing in BC began in the early 1970s with the introduction of rental controls. Prior to the introduction of rent controls thousands of new rental accommodation were being built by investors every year.

After rent controls, new construction came to a halt and has never recovered.

At the time it was predicted a lack of rental housing would be the result, they were right. It wasn’t long before vacancy rates began to drop and it wasn’t long before the creators of the problem (our government) were promising to solve the problem by building “affordable housing.”

Now the vacancy rate is at zero, the government is still promising to solve the problem by building affordable housing.

Having destroyed the natural market that existed for hundreds if not thousands of years between the suppliers of rental housing and the consumers of rental housing, our government’s don’t seem wish to correct the problem they created.

Their faith in the people to solve their own problem and supply their own needs is very limited but their faith in their own ability to solve problems is limitless despite the evidence to the contrary.

If city councils want to see more rental housing created and the vacancy rate return to normal, they should be pressing the provincial government to phase out rent controls.

Stuart McDonald

Nelson

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