B.C. Housing Targets: Most Municipalities Fall Short in First Six Months

B.C. Housing Targets: Most Municipalities Fall Short in First Six Months
May 14, 2024

A new report by the B.C. government highlights the challenges of addressing the province's housing crisis. The report reveals that most municipalities subject to recently mandated housing targets have not met their goals in the first six months.

Housing Supply Act

This news comes as Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon reiterates the importance of the Housing Supply Act, implemented in 2023. The Act sets ambitious housing targets for ten municipalities across British Columbia. These targets aim to significantly boost new housing construction by 38% compared to historical projections.

Victoria Exceeds Target

The report shows a mixed bag of results. Victoria stands out as the only municipality on track to meet its target. In the first half of the year, Victoria has surpassed its goal of 659 net new homes by building 753.

However, other municipalities haven't fared as well. Oak Bay, for instance, has only approved seven new units, falling well short of their target of 56. Saanich and Delta also fell short of their respective goals of 440 and 514 units, creating 195 and 242 new homes respectively.

Streamlining Development and Increasing Affordable Housing

The Housing Supply Act, sometimes referred to as the "naughty list," is a key part of the province's strategy to address the housing shortage. The Act works in conjunction with other legislation aimed at streamlining development regulations. It also provides municipalities with specific guidelines for the type and number of units required, with a particular emphasis on increasing the supply of below-market rental housing (over 16,800 units are mandated by the province).

Minister Kahlon acknowledges that solving the housing crisis is a complex issue that won't be solved overnight. However, he maintains that the Housing Supply Act is a necessary step in the right direction. He plans to assess the municipalities' progress in implementing reforms designed to expedite development processes.

While the initial results are mixed, the coming months will be critical in determining the effectiveness of the Housing Supply Act in boosting housing supply across British Columbia.

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