More Small-Scale Housing Units To Be Built Across The Province To Help Alleviate The Housing Shortage

The NDP government is tabling new legislation this fall to tackle the housing affordability and shortage crisis, that the province is currently facing. The legislation will focus on updating the “outdated zoning rules” in a move to deliver more small-scale housing units across the province.

“Anyone looking for a place to live in a community they love knows how hard it is, and outdated zoning rules are making that even harder,” said the Premier, David Eby. He added, “Constructing mostly high-rise condo towers or single-family homes means BC isn’t building enough small scale multi-unit homes that fit into existing neighborhoods and give people more housing options that are within reach.”

Highlights of proposed new legislation:

  • One secondary suite or one laneway home in a single family or duplex residential zone.
  • Within municipalities of more than 5,000 population, zoning will allow for 3-4 units in select areas on single family or duplex lots, depending on size.
  • A minimum of 6 units will be allowed in select areas zoned for larger single-family or duplex residential located close to transit stops with frequent service.
  • Municipalities covered by the legislation may permit additional density if required but cannot have bylaws that allow for fewer permitted units than the provincial legislation.
  • Municipalities must update community plans and zoning bylaws every 5 years.
  • Public hearings to be phased out for rezoning applications that fall within official community plans.

According to the provincial government, these proposed measures are expected to create 130,000 new, small-scale multi-unit homes over the next 10 years.

The government has also tabled proposed legislation to help local governments and housing developers establish amenities such as daycares and parks, that can be expected to be part of new developments.

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