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New Building Permit Hub launched to speed up homebuilding

May 27, 2024 at 2:09 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

To get more homes built faster and address challenges in B.C.’s housing market, a new digital Building Permit Hub will 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. The Building Permit Hub is the next step in the Province’s work to speed up homebuilding and reduce the costs of housing, and meet the Province’s goal for British Columbia to become a North American leader in digital permitting and construction.

“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.”

The Province’s 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 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 for people.

The Building Permit Hub will address these challenges by offering a one-stop, simplified process, resulting in faster processing and review times. 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 Building Permit Hub. The Building Permit Hub will go live on Monday, May 27, 2024, 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 dwelling units, and will eventually be available throughout the province, allowing every community to process building permits digitally.

The Building Permit Hub will scale up to include more types of housing. Advancing digital permitting and construction is part of the Province’s Homes for People action plan to build homes for people faster, protect renters and fight speculation. The Province is investing in other digital housing solutions as well and has already delivered a web-based, interactive version of the building code.

The Building Permit Hub is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway.

Learn More:

To view the new Building Permit Hub, visit: https://buildingpermit.gov.bc.ca

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for people in British Columbia, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

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