Liberal candidate who toppled 14 B.C. properties in a decade refuses to reveal profits and will not pledge to end the practice if elected
Taleeb Noormohamed, the Liberal candidate for Vancouver Granville campaigning on pledges that include making housing more affordable, declined Thursday to share how much he or his businesses have benefited from buying or selling at least 30 residential properties in Metro Vancouver over the past decade.
Noormohamed, which CTV News Vancouver independently verified, sold 14 of these properties within a year of their purchase, also declined to respond to criticism that his practices were either hypocritical – according to his Conservative opponent – or directly contributing to the affordability crisis, according to his NDP opponent.
Residential properties bought and sold within 12 months would be subject to the anti-rollover tax proposed by the Liberal Party, which Leader Justin Trudeau says is aimed at curbing speculation.
“Help me understand how you can champion housing affordability and – at the same time – your boss is signaling that you are part of the problem,” CTV News asked Noormohamed on Thursday.
He replied: “Our plan, which is ambitious, speaks of three critical elements. “
Noormohamed went on to talk about tenant protection, the offer and what he called “unlocking home ownership”.
“Do you see yourself as a real estate pinball machine or a speculator? CTV News asked.
Noormohamed replied, “I consider myself to be someone who is absolutely committed to making sure that we increase housing affordability, and I support whatever steps are needed to do that, which we have proposed. “
Some of the properties in question were rentals, Noormohamed said, while others were improved through renovations and then sold.
All transactions were reported “appropriately,” he said.
When CTV News asked how many of the 30 people he had lived in the past decade, Noormohamed replied: three.
Of the five properties he currently owns in Vancouver and West Vancouver, all are leased except for his current residence.
Of the 25 he has sold, records show the difference between buying and selling prices totals more than $ 4.2 million, not including taxes, property improvements and other expenses.
When CTV News asked Noormohamed how much he or his companies profited from those sales, he stumbled twice. The third time the question was asked, he replied:
“Although I cannot give you an exact figure, I can tell you that this is by no means the figure that has been put forward. But what I can also tell you is that I am absolutely determined to abide by all the measures that have been proposed and that would apply.
Noormohamed said few voters over the past week asked him about his history of buying property, and said he told those who did that he had an unwavering commitment to improve affordability if elected.
He also pointed to a Liberal announcement Thursday that $ 25 million would be invested in a revitalized Jewish community center in Vancouver, which he said would create up to 600 affordable mixed-use housing.
When CTV News asked Noormohamed what he had learned from the criticisms he had received from both right and left, he said, “I have learned that you have to focus on making sure you talk to voters, that you spend your time listening to what is important to them and silencing the noise.
As to whether the candidate who came second at Vancouver Granville in 2019 is considering changing his buying and selling practices if he wins this time around?
“What I’m going to do is spend my time on this and nothing else,” Noormohamed replied.
“So change, no change?” Continue to do what you have been doing? CTV News asked.
Noormohamed did not clarify.
“Focus on the people here and make sure I represent their interests,” he said.