B.C. unveils new housing plan
Officials are looking to address the lack of middle-income housing.
B.C. Premier David Eby announces the province’s housing plan. – Province of B.C.
B.C. has unveiled its new plan to speed up home construction, increase the supply of middle-income housing and fight speculation.
“If you’ve scrolled through rental listings or seen the prices of homes in your community, you know how tough it is to find an affordable, decent place to live,” said Premier David Eby. “Even though our province is currently building more housing than ever before, it’s just not enough to meet the need. This plan will take us to the next level with unprecedented actions to tackle the challenges head on, delivering even more homes for people, faster.”
Ebay explained that the plan will focus on four priorities – unlocking more homes faster; delivering better, more affordable homes; helping those with the greatest housing need; and creating a housing market for people, not speculators.
The actions in Eby’s Homes for People plan include:
- delivering more middle-income small-scale, multi-unit housing that people can afford, including town homes, duplexes and triplexes through zoning changes and proactive partnerships.
- offering forgivable loans for homeowners to build and rent secondary suites below market rates to increase affordable rental supply quickly.
- building thousands more affordable homes for renters, Indigenous Peoples on and off reserve, women and children leaving violence, and building thousands more on-campus student housing units.
- delivering thousands of new homes near public transit, and launching BC Builds to use public land to deliver affordable homes for people.
- introducing a flipping tax to discourage short-term speculation.
- providing an annual income-tested tax credit of up to $400 per year for renters.
- providing more homes and supports for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
- streamlining and modernizing permitting to reduce costs and speed up approvals to get homes built faster.
- strengthening enforcement of short-term rentals.
“We are in urgent need of more housing throughout British Columbia, which is why we are taking strong steps through our Homes for People strategy to close the gap between supply and demand,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “We are working with our partners to unlock more homes across the spectrum of housing faster than ever, so everyone in our province can have a safe, secure and stable place to call home.”
The plan found support from Langley, Victoria, and New Westminster officials. Luke Mari, principal, Aryze Developments noted that they believe the plan could provide some relief from systemic issues.
Low supply, speculation, and restrictive zoning policies have resulted in fierce competition and limited housing choice, which impacts the social, environmental and economic prosperity of our province,” said Mari. “Safe, affordable and diverse housing options in all neighbourhoods are foundational to the health of our communities and the planet. Building just for the sake of building isn’t good enough; the name says it all, we need Homes for People.”