Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux is calling on Premier John Horgan to act on an issue she raised a year ago – a bill to boost accessible housing.
Cadieux reintroduced her Building (New Housing Access) Amendment Act in the legislature May 2. If passed, it would require new multi-unit housing projects to provide a minimum percentage of homes that meet adaptable standards, according to a news release.
“Nearly 15 per cent of British Columbians report having a disability that limits their daily activities, but the reality is many of these folks still don’t have accessible housing options,” Cadieux said in the release. “This bill addresses the growing shortage of accessible homes in B.C. – an area where John Horgan has so far refused to act.”
Cadieux first presented her private member’s bill on May 28, 2018. Later that same day, Horgan echoed the call for new construction in B.C. to be accessible for people with disabilities.
Last June, Cadieux told Peace Arch News that while the province and society has done an “arguably, fairly good job” at opening the world to those with disabilities, when it comes to private dwellings, “we have a long way to go.”
She said that building with foresight can decrease the financial burden of having to renovate or modify a home.
In last week’s news release, Cadieux notes that by 2032, 48 per cent of Canadians will be over the age of 65 and require unique features in their homes to prevent falls and injury.
Homes design-certified to anticipate such needs benefit those with limited mobility and allow seniors to live independently longer, the release states.
Cadieux said while some developers are proactively adopting accessibility standards, “legislation is needed to guarantee suitable housing for all British Columbians.”
“Access is a fundamental right, but all too often housing is not considered in this conversation.”