VICTORIA (May 27, 2019) – While John Horgan continues to make British Columbia’s housing shortage even worse, Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness is taking steps to protect homeowners and get more units onto the market. Throness introduced the Homeowner Protection Amendment Act to the legislature today which, if passed, will allow British Columbians to safely and securely purchase homes formerly used as grow operations.
“Police have estimated that there are 20,000 grow operations in British Columbia, and there will be many more now that cannabis has been legalized,” says Throness. “But because most banks and insurers refuse to provide mortgages and insurance for homes previously used as grow-ops, we risk these homes being left vacant or continuing to be used for illegal activity once these operations cease to exist – more or less permanently excluding them from the market.”
Throness’ private member’s bill tasks an existing government office, the New Homes Registry, with developing remediation standards in consultation with industry for homes formerly used as grow operations. At the cost of the homeowner, a licensed home inspector would then be required to confirm that a home has been safely and completely remediated according to those standards – providing assurance to lenders, insurers, sellers, and buyers alike.
“With the way things currently stand, thousands of homes will be unavailable to buyers because of past and future grow operations in B.C. In the midst of a housing crunch, this is simply unacceptable,” says Throness. “John Horgan needs to take swift action to ensure we are able to safely bring these homes to market.”