Friday, July 31, 2009

BC Liberals cancel leaky condo loan program with no notice

What a sneaky, underhanded and rotten this BC Liberal government is!

What a rotten, unexpected and unfair decision came down on the Friday afternoon of a long weekend - intentionally to avoid negative media reports.

And what a negative and potentially disastrous impact this will have on the owners of rotten, leaky condos!

The BC Liberal government announce late Friday that it was unilaterally and without notice cancelling the Homeowner Protection Office's reconstruction loan program for leaky condo owners that has lent more than $670 million over the past 10 years to help them pay for essential repairs to their homes.

As a leaky condo owner myself - fortunately repaired, unfortunately at an outrageously expensive cost of more than $82,000 - I am appalled at this decision by Housing Minister Rich Coleman.

His self-serving explanation is an embarrassment for theBC Liberal government, which allowed applications to be filed just until the end of business on Friday - giving desperate homeowners just a couple of hours notice to attempt to apply for the interest-free loans.

NDP housing critic Shane Simpson was outraged.

"I think it's nothing short of a betrayal of leaky-condo owners by the premier, by the minister and the government," Simpson told the Vancouver Sun.

"The government made a commitment some 10 years ago to help people to deal with these leaky condos, and they're now turning their backs on who knows how many people who are still facing this problem," he said.


Simpson's criticism was echoed by longtime leaky condo activist James Balderson.

Balderson, spokesman for the Coalition of Leaky Condo Owners, said thousands of homeowners will be hurt, despite the fact that the program doesn't cost taxpayers anything.

"The loan program was brought in so that people would not have to lose their homes. People are going to lose their homes," Balderson said. "You have to have little or nothing in the way of assets and little or nothing in the way of cash," he said.


Once again, the BC Liberal government has literally deceived British Columbians before the election and then betrayed their words - there was no indication that they would axe this critical program - nor was their any sign that these loans were no longer urgently needed by homeowners.

How disgusting!

UPDATE

I received this news release from the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association regarding cancellation of the BC Homeowner Protection Office leaky condo loan program:


BC GOVERNMENT ABANDONS OWNERS OF LEAKY CONDOS

August 4, 2009

The Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association (VISOA) strongly objects to the Provincial Government’s decision to terminate the reconstruction loan program for owners of leaky condos.

“In making its announcement the Provincial Government has ignored findings in a December 2007 report of the Homeowner Protection Office. The report indicated that over one-half of known leaky condos or 41,000 condo units still required reconstruction”, said Tony Davis, VISOA President.

On July 31 the Provincial Government announced that the leaky condo reconstruction loan program will stop accepting new applications effective immediately and that the program will end in a few months.

The reconstruction loan program provides financial support to help with the cost of repairing homes damaged by water, which were built before July 1,1999. The reconstruction loans – they are loans and not grants – have assisted leaky condo owners who lack the means to finance their share of the costs of essential reconstruction.

“Our Association believes that this program has met an important need that continues to exist and the Government has known about the continuing need for a long time. The abrupt end of the loan program deals a huge blow to seniors and others without access to conventional loans.

"Many of them will lose their homes. Furthermore, uncertainty of repairs and the forced sale of condo units will create crises for many strata corporations”, said Mr. Davis. “We call on the Provincial Government to reinstate this essential program. We also call on CHOA, strata councils and strata owners across the province to join us in demanding continuation of the program”, he said.

VISOA is a non-profit organization that has provided information and education services to strata homeowners and strata councils on Vancouver Island since 1973. It is independent of both government and the real estate industry.

20 comments:

Powell river persuader said...

I haven`t heard when and if they are going to cancel collecting the 750.00% fee that was specifically dedicated to this fund,I did hear Coleman say they would have to continue collecting it for a while.

Bitt T.........

I am throwing this to you and your readers...........

Right now if there was an election,Gordon Campbell couldn`t get elected as dog catcher.......

I figure Gordon Campbell to retire after the olympics whichs begs the question..........

How many Liberal MLAs are prepared to vote against the HST.....

I have rarely,if ever seen such revolt from the people as the one we are seeing over this HST Tax,along with all the other chincy cuts........
I have talked to many Liberal voters who are furious,furious about the tax and even more furious about the election lies.....
People,the public are not going to forgive and forget this one,they will see the tax everywhere,every hydro bill it will be staring them in the face........

How many first time Liberal MLAs are there who will have not achieved their life long pension by the time the next election rolls around.........
How many close ridings were there? Many,are those MLAs prepared to get voted into oblivian?Think about it,Campbell will be gone and the political futures(for the newbies) will be over(without pensions).......
The political winds are blowing full gale force.
I believe there is a dynamic brewing for internal revolt in the bc Liberal party........
And if Campbell decides to resign just before the next election to save the party it will be too late,these MLAs would have voted for the tax and therefor guilty by association.......
I am sure the voice mail,emails are over stuffed at the MLAs offices,where do you hide in the Comox valley or Kamloops etc etc.....
Hansen,Campbell,they can`t even sell the legitimacy of the HST to themselves let alone the public.....
P.S. Paul Martin was on the Bill Good show today defending the HST and........
He wasn`t very effective......

And a caller called in later on the open line who reminded Bill Good that Paul Martin`s shipping line flew under the Liberian flag to avoid paying Canadian taxes.......Budda bing budda boom......
And Bill Good defended Paul Martin stating "isn`t that what any good CEO would do" Mr. Good went on to say that Paul Martin had to do it to or he would be giving a financial advantage to his shipping rivals!
Well isn`t that interesting,the dear BC consumer must do their patriotic duty and pay these taxes but the corporation must use all loopholes possible to avoid paying taxes!

Thank you Paul Martin,Thank you Bill Good,you explained the BC HST tax perfectly!

Cheers-Eyes Wide Open

Gary E said...

What else can you expect from someone who runs around the province having their photo taken with a simpering grin at every megaproject that we can't afford? How else is he going to pay for his management of our economy?

Give to the rich and big business and damn the voters. Wake up BC its time to get rid of these carpetbaggers.

G West said...

Not only that, they've once again showed their utter contempt for the parliamentary system by cancelling a program now and creating the legislation to do the act after the fact.

The action should have been discussed and debated in the legislature and then voted on - instead, like retroactive taxes, the Campbell Government, craven as always, prefers to shoot now and ask questions later.

Like the outlaws of old, they've robbed the widows and orphans to pay off the big cattlemen.

Promises mean nothing, lies mean everything....when you've got the big guns nothing else is important.

Anonymous said...

The BC Liberals needed the votes from "subsidized" voters to gain a third term at running the province. However now that they are back in the seat of power they don't need voters support.

I don't need to state the short list of who they've shafted since May, but maybe you can give us an extended list of those British Columbians who will be losing their interest free loans and grants.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised?It's was Friday afternoon,before a long weekend!Same MO,that's the way the libs operate,with surgical precision, they strike at our right's and programs!

Anonymous said...

careful;leaky condoms ,can create a life!and cost plenty!

Anonymous said...

To bad gordos dads condom leaked!

Bill Tieleman said...

Funny you should mention the Friday afternoon of a long weekend BC Liberal media strategy - because in the morning I suggested to my friend Sean Holman at PublicEyeOnline.com that he solicit reader guesses at what the government might do.

Two hours later - bingo - leaky condo loans cancelled on 2 hours notice!


This is unconscionably cruel for anyone who just discovered they live in a leaky building - and there are still lots - but went away for the weekend or holidays intending to apply on their return.

And obviously it's totally rotten that a party supported financially to the hilt by big developers and construction companies would force those with little credit to pay for repairs into the clutches of banks and loan companies - who also support the BC Liberals!

Anonymous said...

This HST is NOT a merger of BC PST and the fed's GST as the politicians, i.e. Gordon Campbell and Colin Hassen indicated. It is an all-new tax sytem with much broader tax base than the current BC PST! It is actually a GST at 12%tax syatem! Is this new tax system good for BC? The truth is, it is good for only a handful of those large national and international companies. That's it! The HST is bad for the majority of British Columbians, the individual consumers and the small businesses! In addition, the way Gordon Campbell grabbed this HST in such a haste and abrupt manner really makes me sick. For $1.6 billion, Gordon Campbell sold BC PST. If the Fed put down more $, I bet that Gordon will sell the entire BC including his mother!

Anonymous said...

SUPRISED Well you shouldn't be after all Gordon Campbell has done nothing but be selfserving since day one. His only concern is that 2010 games and his pals get what they want. It's all about paying for something we as taxpayers can't afford and that's the 2010 games in B.C. We will be paying for many years to come and every year Campbell will come up with some bright idea that will keep the taxpayer broke. This only the beginning..........Gail

Norman Farrell said...

Bill, have you recommended or participated in timing announcements similarly, either for wide attention or least possible notice? This seems a standard tool of spin doctoring. I don't condone it but we could list a number of ethical deficits that otherwise honest people consider appropriate behavior in politics.

Maybe we need a multi-partisan organization to create a code of conduct for all in public life, one that issues semi-annual report cards on active politicians. This is the sort of thing an active independent media could do but the major players here have insufficient credibility.

Anonymous said...

Yes Bill these guy's are totally rotten from the inside out,if they were credible in any instance ,it was lost to me five years ago,I can almost predict what was going to happen,Ive written many times on this blog and I've said before the election, YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET!, and I think you should do an expose on those fast ferries ,there's a whole lot more there than meet's the eye! Just google this site seacat tasmania! Those shills baldry,palmer and smyth,would have us believe there's nothing there?They say that those lovely boat's were scrap,check that site out and you tell me?Just like the question I put to bill boring what was meant by the bcuc,when in there report it said that it was not in the best interest of the consumer,he responded by saying he was going on holidays and baldry and palmer would pick it up next week and all three of them were coached by reverting back to the dinosaur,the gas fired plant?that wasn't the question,regarding the IPP'S,and was cut off quicker than you could spit out of a car window,talk about shill's, don't know how you put up with those loser's,but as always your my first string Monday morning quarterback!Unlike Wally Buono,there is no pecking order,the best pecker wins in my play book always,even in a dark sky there's always a star that shines bright! THANK YOU!

DPL said...

While on the subject of stratas lets not forget the little time spent on bIll 12 through second reading on the last day the house sat. One shoould read Colemans comments. He was all over the map, throwing in 99 year lease and just how informed he is on the subject. He dropped in the idea that a legislation should remove the rights of a strata to allow or limit rentals. I guess he knows best and to hell with the actual owners wishes. It seems he wants a no cost to him larger rental stock. The obvious fact that renters once in place are under a differnt law doeasn't slow down the all knowing Coleman. There are three large associations in BC representing a very large number of people who own or are paying for their unit. Did Coleman bother to tell the associaitons in advance? Why do we think he might have, the big goof has screwed up a number of potfolious he ahs held as a minister. He spends more time in the house trying to score points on anyone who raises legitimate questions. But if Gordo says something Coleman jumps, he knows who can and would replace him if he doesn't follow orders. Not bad pay for some guy who would find to hold a job at anywhere near the pay he isgetting now.

Anonymous said...

The Campbell Liberals have ignored the interests of condo or strata owners even more than the NDP and the print media. This story has been brewing for months and we saw no investigative reporting in print or any comment from the opposition until now. For politicians like Gordo, silence means consent.

Martin Campbell said...

British Columbia - The Best Place on Earth... if you don't have to live there.

Are the recall laws still in effect? Or were they gutted too?

Anonymous said...

Oh Boo-Hoo. The rest of BC is not even eligible for this program. And yes we have leaky condo’s outside of the lower mainland as well. Wake up people we are in a recession and there is less money to go around. The amount of taxpayer financed parasites on this blog site is truly disturbing.


I want, I want, I want and all for free as long as someone else is paying.

Powell river persuader said...

Anon 6.24.......

You are an idiot aren`t you!

Point #1)It wasn`t goverment paying for this,there was a fee to developers and the people pay the loan back

Point #2) This decision will force strata boards to forclose on people who can`t come up with their share of the repair bills that can run 30-50-90 thousand dollars,you have no choice when you live in a strata,you can`t say,"Hey,count me out,I don`t want my unit repaired".

Point #3)There are health implications for people who are living in black mouldy buildings,and we all know how much hospitals stays are.

Point #4)There is job creation in repairing these leaky condo units,people with jobs pay taxes and spend money which helps the over-all economy.

Point #5)All strata buildings,owners,should of been notified at least 2 years ahead of time that the program was ending,and the notification should of urged building and condo unit owners to do their due dilligance and have their buildings inspected and if they need repairs to file immediately.

Point #6) The new port mann bridge,3 billion dollars,the Macquarie group and the builders COULD NOT GET FINANCING,the goverment is borrowing the money so the project can proceed,how much interest is being put on the Public`s credit card on a 3 billion dollar loan?

Point #7)Goverments had a choice,they could of went after the builders(many of course are friends of goverment)they didn`t....Goverments could of gone after city inspectors who signed off on these projects(which would of made municipalities and cities responsible)and opened up a big can of worms,they didn`t go that route.......The goverments felt that this was the least expensive way to go about it........

Point #8) The goverment of BC make a huge wallop of cash from the propert transfer fee,a fee which is highest in BC and doesn`t exist in Alberta.......
And with the new HST the cost for a new condo priced at 400.000.00$ which will still have the property transfer fee and the 750.00$ fee,and will now be hit with another 8000.00$ fee from the HST....A 1 million dollar home will have an extra 50.000.00$ fee on it,some of these monies could be forwarded to the leaky condo fund.

Point #9)You are an idiot anon 6.24

And you must be getting very lonely,the only ones backing the Campbell goverment anymore is 223 members of the PAB and Paul Martin(poilical has-been)

Cheers-Eyes Wide Open

Norman Farrell said...

anon 6:24

"Wake up people we are in a recession and there is less money to go around. The amount of taxpayer financed parasites on this blog site is truly disturbing."
------------------
Good point! Shouldn't we start saving first with the mega-dollar executives in publicly owned private companies and with $200-300K ladyfriends or with the hundreds of unweaned ravagers at PAB. Or perhaps we should treat river rapers as we do gas & oil explorers. That would change the direction of public cash flow from out to in.

Seriously though. How can you be unhappy with a repayable aid program that assisted innocent victims of shoddy commerce while the suits in BMWs are driving off with large segments of public wealth while the overseers you support nod their heads and wink?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Farrell,please refer to,point#9 in Powell river persuader list! as for anon 6:24 any typing would be a waste on that idiot!

Anonymous said...

We missed Paul Martin on CKNW.The only time we listen to that neocons news station is monday morning when Bill Tieleman is on with what's his face,Spector.
Bill Good is phoney as hell.
We stand to be corrected but wasn't Paul Martin involved in sending tax free cash from his company down to the Bahama's.This money can be brought back to Canada or where ever and reinvested tax free. The US corporations in one year siphoned,
off 80 billion bucks of this money
To get back To Campbell. Can I refer to him as a numbnut or a very low I/Q retard He is the sleaziest most distrustful premier BC has ever had.I would sure welome a list of what this retard and his cabinet has done to the working people of BC versus the benefits that have gone to corporations and private sector.Capitalists and corporations are involved in a massive self serving crime wave.
right across Canada.Right wing gov"s support them.
Where the hell is the NDP.How much of this Campbell garbage would they turf out in the best interests of the taxpayers of BC?