B.C. launches online building permit hub to speed development

Officials say the hub will help streamline and standardize local permitting processes.

B.C. Premier David Eby announces a new online tool to streamline permitting.

Key Takeaways:

  • B.C. officials want the hub to be a one-stop shop for applications and aims to reduce delays and costs.
  • They believe the hub will address challenges of incomplete applications, inconsistent requirements, and varying interpretations of the building code.
  •  It will automatically check for completeness and compliance with key parts of the BC Building Code.
  • The Building Permit Hub is being piloted with twelve local governments and two First Nations, with further development and features planned for this summer.

The Whole Story:

B.C. is launching new digital Building Permit Hub to help streamline and standardize local permitting processes.

“The permitting process can be slow and complicated, delaying the construction of homes we urgently need,” said Premier David Eby. “Together, we’ve made progress cutting provincial and municipal permitting times, but we have to keep going. This new one-stop shop for local building permits will reduce red tape for homebuilders, local governments and First Nations, and ultimately save money, speed up construction and help people get into homes faster.”

The province is digitizing local permit processes to make it easier and faster for homeowners and industry professionals to submit applications to local governments and First Nations.

“We are exploring new ways to speed up the delivery of homes for people in B.C.,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “The Building Permit Hub will make the permitting process smoother for builders and local and First Nations governments, ensuring homes are built quicker without unnecessary delays. This is one of many actions we are taking in our Homes for People action plan.”

Officials say their work to cut provincial permitting times is showing results. Provincial permits are being processed faster and backlogs are being cleared with permits being processed faster than they are coming in.

The province said it has heard from industry, local governments and First Nations that some of the biggest challenges with the local building-permit submission process are incomplete applications, inconsistent submission requirements from one community to another and different interpretations of compliance with BC Building Code requirements. These problems contribute to costly delays to building new homes.

The Building Permit Hub aims to address these challenges by offering a one-stop, simplified process. Builders will submit their permit applications online in the hub, which will:

  • standardize building-permit submission requirements across jurisdictions in B.C.;
  • automatically check that the permit application is complete; and
  • automatically check compliance with key parts of the BC Building Code.

A provincewide system that addresses the different permit requirements in each community will result in complete and consistent applications that are straightforward for local governments and First Nations to approve.

“This permitting tool will evolve, incorporating user feedback to deliver a seamless experience for those building the homes people need throughout the province,” said George Chow, minister of citizens’ services. “Government is working to unlock the full potential of digital innovation and technology, as we tackle the housing crisis together.”

The province worked closely with communities and industry experts to develop the hub.

Twelve local governments and two First Nations will pilot the first version of the hub. The hub is now live to allow communities to update the tool for their local requirements and permitting capability is expected to come online this summer. The hub will be further developed in summer with additional features added, such as permit applications for secondary suites and accessory


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