BC Government Abandons Leaky Condos…

The sudden discontinuation on July 31, 2009, of the HPO Reconstruction Loan Program by Housing Minister, Rich Coleman and his government was unconscionable.  They have now brought consumer protection to an all-time low in BC.

In the Fall of 2007 the Homeowner Protection Office received an independent report from McClanaghan and Associates which clearly pointed out that we were not even half way through the leaky condo disaster in BC.

The full extent of the leaky condo disaster would finally be acknowledged after 9 long years of under-estimating. Direct costs to B.C. families for the various types of fixes, many inadequate, already exceeded a staggering $2.3 billion, and only 45 per cent of B.C.’s leaky condos had been fixed.

Pierre Gallant, an architect with engineering consulting firm Morrison Hershfield, told the Vancouver Sun, “It is hard to estimate the number of buildings that still need repairing.” Gallant’s concern is that without the loan program, owners will be more reluctant to address their problems with leaks and buildings will go longer without repairs.

With leaky condo remediation costing more than three times what it cost 10 years ago (click here for full comparison charts of costs now and 10 years ago) and no loan program in place, more “partial” or “band-aid” type fixes will inevitably be undertaken.  This has serious ramifications to homeowners and home buyers beyond the funding of direct repair costs.

A homebuyer considering a home (1982 to 2002) will want to know that it is “low risk” to buy. This means if moisture should penetrate the building envelope it can escape through the cavity wall (Rainscreen); not “Faceseal” in which water gets trapped resulting in rot.

To verify a building is a reasonably safe (there are no absolute guarantees) building, here are a few tips:


A partially repaired building can be particularly tricky for home buyers. How will they know that the areas not fixed are not going to leak in the future?  They don’t!

Many home buyers fail to complete their own due diligence and out of excitement (or laziness) they throw caution to the wind and buy on emotion; would you?

Unless a homebuyer like this comes along and “rolls-the-dice”, the homeowner in a partially fixed building will often have a hard time selling, and when they do it will normally be at a lower price due to the uncertainty.

1 thought on “BC Government Abandons Leaky Condos…”

  1. My situation:

    Because I have bought within a 3 year time frame with only 20% down, I do not have enough equity for the bank to consider lending me the $60,000-$70,000 for my 1 bedroom leaky condo. I spoke with a few lawyers and Canada debt that suggested foreclosure not to be a good option as I will lose my home and still have to pay any loses, including a sale shortfall and any interest on the amount owing of at least $50,000. Bankruptcy seems to be my best option as bankruptcy or a consumer proposal will stop the interest charge. I will lose my home and still owe $50,000+ but not have any more interest on my debt. This is because in my current position, my income is above average so they will still collect a considerable amount of debt from my leaky condo.

    It makes more sense for me to quit my job and be out of bankruptcy in 9 months and collect welfare instead of spending 6-8 years paying off a $50,000+ debt. I didn’t understand what a 2 tier class system meant until I purchased in the wonderful province of BC. What an opportunity for the average law abiding tax-paying citizen to own one of the many thousands of leaky condos right here in beautiful BC.


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