On September 26, 2023, the BC Ministry of Housing unveiled housing goals for the initial ten municipalities chosen under the Housing Supply Act. These objectives have the purpose of expediting the building of tens of thousands of residences in regions facing critical housing shortages.
Ravi Kahlon, the Minister of Housing, emphasizes that the housing crisis has had detrimental effects on people, the economy, and essential services. The government is taking action by collaborating with municipal partners to ensure more homes are constructed in communities with high housing demand. These targets include a significant number of below-market rental units, particularly in the largest and fastest-growing communities, to enable more individuals to find homes in the communities they cherish.
To facilitate the implementation of these targets, the Province will continue to provide local governments with resources to expedite approval processes. This includes $10 million for the ongoing Development Approvals Process Review and efforts to streamline provincial permitting through digital processes. These efforts are in addition to the $1-billion Growing Communities Fund launched earlier in 2023 and a recently announced $51 million to support local governments in mee
ting new density initiatives.
The selection of the initial 10 municipalities for housing target assessment took place in May 2023, enabled by the Housing Supply Act, which empowers the Province to establish housing targets in communities with the most urgent housing requirements. Over the summer, consultations with these municipalities took place to finalize the housing targets, which represent net new housing units to be completed within five years.
The housing targets for each municipality are as follows:
1. City of Abbotsford – 7,240 housing units
2. City of Delta – 3,607 housing units
3. City of Kamloops – 4,236 housing units
4. District North Vancouver – 2,838 housing units
5. District of Oak Bay – 664 housing units
6. City of Port Moody – 1,694 housing units
7. District of Saanich – 4,610 housing units
8. City of Vancouver – 28,900 housing units
9. City of Victoria – 4,902 housing units
10. District of West Vancouver – 1,432 housing units
These housing targets represent a 38% increase in housing construction in these communities compared to historical trends.
In addition to the targets, the Province has provided each municipality with housing target guidelines, which include recommendations regarding the number of units by size, rental versus owned units, below-market rental units, and units with on-site support services. These guidelines encompass more than 16,800 below-market rental units.
The Province's analysis considered the total number of units required to address the current housing shortage and projected population growth over the next five years. While the Province encourages municipalities to work towards fulfilling the entire housing need, the targets have been set at 75% of each municipality's identified housing need.
Municipalities will undergo evaluations every six months and annually thereafter to assess their progress toward meeting the housing targets and the actions they've taken to achieve them. The Province will closely monitor this progress and collaborate with municipalities to understand challenges and opportunities.
Additionally, a second cohort of eight to 10 municipalities will be selected and notified later in 2023, and the act includes compliance options to be used if municipalities do not align their efforts with housing targets.
A significant enhancement in housing availability, bolstered by federal and provincial mandates, stands as a long-awaited and vital policy measure. It serves as one of the critical initial steps required to address the housing affordability crisis, and it is warmly welcomed by the real estate industry.
(2023) Targets released for 10 municipalities to deliver more homes for people. Available at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0123-001505 (Accessed: 27 September 2023).
Raman Bayanzadeh CCIM | Principal | CRE Investment & Development Team | Royal LePage Commercial
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