British Columbia is moving to increase housing supply, and deliver more homes faster
New measures are coming to British Columbia that will help create more housing as the province speeds up the permitting process and helps build more secondary rental suites.
“People in our province deserve a decent place to live, they can actually afford to rent or buy, but chronic housing shortages and long permit approval times frustrate this achievable goal,” Premier David Eby said. “Our government is taking action. We’re making it easier and faster to get provincial permits to build new homes, and we’re providing financial support to people who can build a suite that they can afford to rent out. We have a lot to do, which is why we’re focusing on initiatives like this that make a real, tangible difference for thousands of families.” .
The first measure focuses on accelerating the permit issuance process by launching a single window that eliminates the need to submit multiple permit applications across different ministries. The Single Housing Application Service (SHAS) will help deliver more homes faster by creating a simpler permit application for house builders. This service will help remove license backlogs, while maintaining environmental standards. With the introduction of CHAS, the province expects permit timelines to be reduced by two months.
“Our government is focused intensely on action on housing,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resources Management. “One way we are doing this is eliminating the current permit backlog and accelerating approvals for homebuilding projects by launching an easy-to-use tool that connects people with project experts. These expert “navigators” will guide homebuilders through the regional permitting process and provide a personal one-stop-shop for It would simplify the process.
SHAS connects home builders with “navigators,” dedicated employees of the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Management, who guide applicants through all stages of permit applications and serve as a dedicated single point of contact for all information related to home building permits and collaborations. – Coordinating licensing decisions across ministries.
The second initiative focuses on secondary suites and comes ahead of legislation planned for this fall to make secondary suites legal countywide, and a pilot incentive program to help homeowners build secondary suites.
To help homeowners navigate the process, the county has launched a new comprehensive guide, Home Suite Home. The guide provides people with the information needed to prepare for building and managing a rental suite in British Columbia. This follows recent steps to make improvements in BC’s Residential Tenancies Branch, including timely dispute resolution.
The guide can be used as a resource for people preparing to access the Secondary Incentive Program (SSIP). The pilot program, scheduled to launch in early spring 2024, will provide about 3,000 homeowners with forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to construct a new secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit on their property. Loans will only go to properties that will be rented at below market rates. Additional program eligibility requirements have been provided so interested people can prepare ahead of launch.
“We have heard from many homeowners that they would like to create a rental suite on their property, but find the process of building and managing one confusing and time-consuming,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “The new Home Suite Home Guide and our secondary suite pilot program will clearly and concisely provide homeowners with the information they need to make an informed decision about whether adding a rental unit is right for them.”
These initiatives form part of the action plan for shelters for people in the province. The plan, announced in the spring of 2023, builds on record investments in housing since 2017, and outlines several actions to provide the homes people need in a shorter time frame, while creating more vibrant communities across B.C.
George Heyman, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“To build the homes people need, we need to make sure the land is safe from contamination. Through the Department’s new easy-to-use web application, people can now easily submit and track the status of their applications for contaminated sites. This means much-needed housing projects can Starting soon.
Rob Fleming, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure –
“Housing development goes hand in hand with close, safe and efficient transportation corridors, and we are working to expedite approvals for housing projects planned near travel corridors. This new service will improve the applicant experience and help streamline transportation-related approvals.”
Spencer Chandra Herbert, Premier’s Liaison to Tenants, and MLA for Vancouver-West End –
“The Secondary Suite Incentive Program will help create much-needed rental homes and give renters a wide range of affordable rentals to choose from. We’ve heard from homeowners who want to provide more rental homes for British Columbians, but don’t know where to start. This The program is the next step.”
Neil Moody, CEO, Canadian Home Builders Association of British Columbia –
“CHBA BC is pleased to see the steps the provincial government is taking to reduce the long-term challenges and delays home builders face when navigating multiple ministries to obtain permits. We hope the expedited consolidated housing application service will make it easier for more homes to get to the market much faster, and looks forward to Our members call on us to continue working with the dedicated Navigators of the Government of British Columbia to achieve this common goal.
Kosh Panach, Chairman of Panach Group –
“We have been beneficiaries of this application service, and as a result, we now have 220 very happy families moving into their new homes in Phase 2 of 50 Electronic Ave. in Port Moody in the next two weeks. I look forward to expanding this program to include more services and fully support This is a major endeavor by the government to simplify the approval process.
David Hutniak, CEO, LandlordBC –
“Secondary suites are an important source of long-term rental housing throughout British Columbia. This initiative by the province will encourage homeowners with underutilized space to create additional units of much-needed rental housing.
- The Home Suite Home Guide is available in English, French, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Hindi and Punjabi and can be downloaded in the Learn More section.
- There are approximately 228,700 units that can be rented as secondary suites in British Columbia, according to 2022 BC Valuation data.
To read the Home Suite Home Guide, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/Secondary-suites
To read the Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Homes_For_People.pdf
For information about the Secondary Suite incentive program and to sign up for updates, visit: www.bchousing.org/secondary-suite
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