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AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs agree on 1 thing – all 3 levels of government must do more to create affordable rental accommodations

Question-and-answer feature calling on those elected to office in Langley
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Do you have a question you’d like to see put to the local members of Parliament? Email your idea to editor@langleyadvancetimes.com.

Langley Advance Times runs this weekly feature, call it “At Your Service.”

It’s another forum in which to put questions to our local politicians about key issues facing our community and its residents.

Using a basic question-and-answer format, elected officials will be asked one question at a time and given the opportunity to respond (to a maximum of 250 words) on that said issue.

Alternating between elected groups, Langley City and Langley Township councils, Langley school board, Langley MLAs, and Langley MPs each have a chance to participate.

The answers provided will be published in their entirety online each Sunday.

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MOST RECENT – AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs agree much to be done to safeguard against climate-related disasters

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QUESTION

Both Langley MPs were asked: How much assistance should the federal government provide for provinces and communities to build more affordable rental accommodations?

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ANSWERS

MP John Aldag

A. All levels of government share responsibility for housing. Therefore, I would like to see the federal government continue to work with provinces and municipalities to build more affordable rental accommodations.

Thanks to an investment of $1.5 billion through budget 2022, the Rapid Housing Initiative will build 4,500 more affordable housing units for those who need it the most. This will complement the over 10,000 new affordable housing units already under construction in Canada.

We currently work well with the B.C. government to fund these affordable housing units.

We are also working with communities by investing $4 billion in the Housing Accelerator Fund to help municipalities speed up the construction of housing and create 100,000 new homes over the next five years.

Through the Canada Housing Strategy, we have already invested over $30 billion to build and repair over 440,000 homes.

We are making historic investments to help double housing construction over the next 10 years.

The approval speed for housing projects and zoning is still an issue at some local levels in B.C., alongside the current skilled trades shortage slowing down construction times.

As we continue to ramp up efforts to increase the housing supply, encouraging municipalities to approve rental developments is important.

Addressing the skilled trades shortage is getting the attention of both the provincial and federal governments, to help build units faster.

In summary, all three levels of government need to continue working together to construct more affordable housing units.

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MP Tako van Popta

A. Since the Liberals formed government in 2015, the average price of a home has nearly doubled.

Until the Bank of Canada started increasing interest rates on mortgages, home prices jumped by nearly 20 per cent in the preceding year, making the dream of home ownership unattainable for many.

And families renewing their mortgages will see big increases in mortgage payments.

The Liberal narrative that their funding programs will address the housing crisis by 2030 was contradicted this past spring, when the CMHC reported that this government will fall short of their housing goal by over 2 million units.

Clearly their plans are failing Canadians.

So, what can the federal government do?

A Conservative government will tie federal infrastructure investment commitments to reciprocal commitments from provinces and municipalities to open more land for residential development and to speed up approval processes.

SkyTrain coming to Langley is a good example of how transit-oriented urban development can benefit our community, but development must be managed cooperatively by the three orders of government.

The federal government’s CMHC can be an important tool to promote construction of affordable rental housing, but in today’s environment of increasing interest rates, its ability to help is limited.

The only long-term solution for our housing crisis is for government to get back to basic economic principles: bringing inflation under control, balancing supply and demand, accelerating approvals, encouraging job training, and generally getting out of the way of industrious Canadians who are up to the challenge of building our nation.

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UP NEXT

Next week, Langley City councillors are being asked: Will the City be switching to the same residential waste bin system used by neighbouring municipalities such as the Langley Township and Surrey?

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Watch for their answers online Sunday.

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PAST COVERAGE

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Roxanne Hooper

About the Author: Roxanne Hooper

I began in the news industry at age 15, but honestly, I knew I wanted to be a community journalist even before that.
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