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More than 4,000 homes built for people, thousands more on the way through housing targets

June 26, 2024 at 12:13 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Six-month progress updates from the first 10 priority communities selected for housing targets by the Province show that more than 4,000 net new homes have been built for people and more are coming as the second set of targets are released.

“People in B.C. are seeing more homes being built in their communities as municipalities progress toward achieving their housing targets,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We are, as a province, starting to see progress with record levels of housing starts in 2023 and we are on pace to meet or exceed that level in 2024. We will continue to collaborate meaningfully with municipalities to encourage faster creation of homes so people can stay in the communities they love.”

In September 2023, the Province established housing targets for the first 10 priority communities based on 75% of each municipality’s estimated housing need. Meeting these targets within five years will work toward addressing each community’s projected growth and housing needs.

The evaluation of progress included the assessment of net new units, policy actions, initiatives, innovative approaches and partnerships that municipalities put in place to create the conditions needed to increase housing supply. Communities such as Victoria and Port Moody have shown significant progress delivering the homes people need, incorporating the new housing requirements set by the Province for community plans to build more townhouses, duplexes, triplexes and more homes near transit.

“We are gratified the City of Victoria is being recognized for its progress in meeting the Province’s housing target of 4,902 new homes over the next five years,” said Marianne Alto, mayor of Victoria. “Housing is a priority in city council’s 2023-26 strategic plan, reflecting our commitment to meeting the needs of our residents by offering a diverse range of housing options to ensure everyone has access to a place they can call home.”

Other communities are making good progress to meet their targets and are at various stages of updating their Housing Needs Reports, Official Community Plans and zoning bylaws.

A few municipalities, such as Delta, the District of Oak Bay and the District of West Vancouver, are not making as much progress as expected. These municipalities are encouraged to expedite their processes and comply with the new requirements to ensure that housing is being built where it’s needed. Compliance measures may be taken if satisfactory progress is not made by the time annual progress reports are made, to ensure that municipalities are taking action to build homes for people as quickly as possible.

Municipalities are also encouraged to explore and strengthen partnerships with First Nations communities to support and deliver housing projects on First Nations lands. All actions taken to support the delivery of more housing will contribute to the evaluation of progress toward meeting targets.

In addition, housing targets for the second set of priority communities announced in April 2024 have been determined, driving tens of thousands more homes to be built in areas with the greatest needs. The following are the five-year targets:

  • Central Saanich – 588 units
  • Chilliwack – 4,594 units
  • City of North Vancouver – 3,320 units
  • Esquimalt – 754 units
  • Kelowna – 8,774 units
  • Maple Ridge – 3,954 units
  • Nanaimo – 4,703 units
  • Sidney – 468 units
  • Surrey – 27,256 units
  • White Rock – 1,067 units

A total of 55,478 homes are expected to be delivered by the second set of communities, representing a 41% increase in overall housing to be built over what was projected based on historical trends. The Province will monitor progress and work with the municipalities to support them in achieving their targets. The targets for the third set of communities, also announced in April 2024, will be released this summer.

The Province introduced the Housing Supply Act in 2023, which enabled government to establish housing targets for communities based on areas of greatest need and highest projected growth. The initiative is part of the Province’s Homes for People action plan to deliver more homes in B.C., building on its historic $19-billion housing investment. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 80,000 homes delivered or underway throughout B.C.

Quick Facts:

  • To help facilitate implementation of the housing targets and other initiatives, the Province has provided local governments with a range of resources and supports, such as:
    • the historic $1-billion Growing Communities Fund to help 188 local governments address population growth;
    • $51 million in grant-based funding to support activities or projects, such as updating existing zoning bylaws, housing needs reports and official community plans; and
    • $10 million for a second intake of the Local Government Development Approvals Program administered by the Union of BC Municipalities

Learn more:

To learn more about the municipal housing targets, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/local-governments-and-housing/housing-targets

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

For more information on the first 10 priority communities’ targets, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0123-001505

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