Victoria Real Estate Board tax reform proposals to boost construction for renters

Victoria has a major percentage of people living in rented homes while those having own homes are just around one-third of all Victorians.

Tax changes-Incentives for constructing rental apartments —Soon, renters may be able to choose from a variety of affordable homes in Victoria. This will be possible if and when the new rules are put into practice by Victoria.

Real estate Victoria A single change in tax rules will make rented accommodation in Victoria much more affordable, feels the Victoria Real Estate Board. No wonder, it has been a couple of years since Jim Bennett has been trying to convince the Canadian government to give an official nod to tax reforms for boosting rental construction in Victoria.

Some of the homeownership incentives could be grants for renovation work and low rates of interest, says B.C. Non Profit Housing Association’s Jill Atkey.

And owners of rental apartments and rental properties would be attracted to sell and make investments in new apartments by offering them tax deferral, says president of Victoria Real Estate Board, Carol Crabb.

Capital gains problem–As per current norms, those wanting to sell any rental apartment bought for say $100,000 way back in 1970s would have to pay capital gains tax to the tune of nearly $1 million( on sale proceeds of $5 million).

Current vague norms have led to people living in homes as old as four decades, states CEO of the Rental Owners and Managers Society, B.C., Al Kemp.

Construction for rental apartments has almost come to a standstill, states Atkey. And that’s primarily due to poor tax incentives, she adds.

If Victoria wants to expand the number of rental housing apartments, it must focus on incentives, allege tenant advocates. In the coming period 25 years, Victoria will have the requirement of nearly 9,000 and 12,000 new rental apartments, findings of a recent census data analysis show.

And it’s not just the federal government’s duty. Rather the private sector will have to make significant contributions to make affordable housing units for renters a reality.