Home builder's group wants tax credit for asbestos, seismic work

There are two uncomfortable questions that owners of older homes often ask themselves: is there asbestos in my house? And, will my house still be standing after an earthquake?

The answer to those questions can be quite expensive and that's why the Victoria Residential Builders Association wants a federal tax credit to help cover the costs of fixing those problems.

"In Victoria, where we have a lot of older homes … it's very expensive to address asbestos mitigation," executive director Casey Edge told All Points West host Robyn Burns. "But just recently, in the past week, we've had all kinds of earthquake activity so it's important in terms of safety."

Edge says the costs of asbestos removal in a home vary, but homeowners can expect to pay up to $15,000.

He says a tax credit would encourage homeowners to have much-needed work on their homes but also help them to do it in a way that produces a paper trail and cuts out less-legal contractors working in the underground economy.

"This creates jobs in every small community across Canada. And it creates skilled jobs," he said.

Edge says his group is also petitioning the provincial government and municipal governments for a tax rebate on this kind of work and points to a similar rebate program in Brandon, Man. for heritage homes as a successful municipal implementation of such a tax.

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West

To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Home builder's group wants tax credit for asbestos, seismic work