BRITISH COLUMBIA – As part of the actions government is taking to deliver homes for people faster, the first cohort of municipalities for housing targets have been selected, paving the way for building more good homes in areas with the greatest need throughout British Columbia.
The Housing Supply Act gives the Province the authority to set housing targets in municipalities, starting with those with the greatest need and highest projected growth. The targets will encourage municipalities to address local barriers to construction so that housing can get built faster, including updating zoning bylaws and streamlining local development approval processes.
The selected municipalities are:
- City of Abbotsford
- City of Delta
- City of Kamloops
- District North Vancouver
- District of Oak Bay
- City of Port Moody
- District of Saanich
- City of Vancouver
- City of Victoria
- District of West Vancouver
While many communities throughout the province are facing significant housing needs, the Province has selected these municipalities using an objective and data-based process. An empirical index was developed, based on work with economists and experts in the field, to identify municipalities according to multiple dimensions of housing need. The index relies on measures that prioritize the urgency of local housing needs, the availability of the right housing supply, including land availability and unrealized potential for more homes, and housing affordability.
Over the summer, the Province will consult with the selected municipalities and set the final housing targets. All communities will be encouraged to take the action needed to speed up local processes. Many already have.
Once targets are set, the Province will monitor progress and work with municipalities to help address any barriers. To support implementation, the Province will continue to help local governments speed up local approval processes through the continued implementation of the development approvals process review, as well as the Province’s work accelerating and streamlining provincial permitting across multiple ministries and developing a new digital permitting process.
“We welcome being part of a first wave of communities challenged to accelerate building homes for people. These targets reflect the city’s own commitment to housing current and future Victorians,” says Marianne Alto, mayor of the City of Victoria.
“This is a positive step toward creating more homes for more people to live in Saanich. We look forward to working with the Province to set targets and welcome their support to achieve our housing goals,” said Dean Murdock, mayor of Saanich.
The act enables compliance options as a last resort, should municipalities struggle to create the conditions that are necessary to ensure housing gets built. A second group of eight to 10 municipalities will be selected and notified in late 2023.
The Housing Supply Act is part of the Province’s Homes for People action plan to deliver more homes in BC, building on B.C.’s $19-billion housing investment and the introduction of effective tools to tackle speculation and increase the number of rentals.
“The selection of this first round of communities is a welcome next step toward implementing the resources and guidance that have long been needed to reduce red tape and speed up approval processes to boost housing stock across B.C. Our members share a common goal with the Province and the selected municipalities to facilitate the development of these much-needed new homes once the targets are revealed later this summer,” said Neil Moody, CEO, Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC.
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