The local MP, MLA, and city reps took part in the discussion along with more than dozen stakeholders.
Conservative MP Mel Arnold says the problem in Vernon is amplified because it’s such a desirable place to live.
“We’re seeing an influx of buyers from the the coast that can come up here, buy a better home than they had at the coast and still put money in the bank. So that’s drawing away from some of the property inventories,” Arnold told Kiss FM and other media.
Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster says they also want to encourage more private sector rentals.
“This is where the city can certainly get into the game by allowing subdivisions and the zoning allowing secondary suites.”
Arnold says one problem is the lack of incentives to build rental housing.
“There were programs that were removed years ago that provided tax credits that reduced rental income taxes. Maybe that needs to be reinstated.”
Foster says the province is looking at ways to allow colleges and universities to add more student housing, which would free up rental units.
“If we take the students out of the mix – and there is thousands of students — all those units then become available for people to rent.”
Arnold says the city can also help by identifying areas for multi family homes, and working on development service costs.
Arnold held the round table to get input on the proposed new national housing strategy and to look at ways to deal with issues surrounding homeless residents.