As Canadians recognize the important work done by housing partners on National Housing Day (November 22), BCREA acknowledges that there is still much work to do to ensure affordable, appropriate housing. In spite of the BC housing market’s record pace in October, supply continues to be limited. Lack of adequate supply causes affordability issues, especially for many lower-income families.

BCREA recommends that the BC Government work with local governments to speed up approval processes by adopting measures described in the Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) report. This 2019 report was the result of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s consultation with local governments and housing stakeholders to identify the challenges and opportunities for improving the development approvals process. Adopting measures described in the DAPR report provides a roadmap for the province to work with local governments to better match housing supply with demand and create a balanced market.

BCREA also recommends amending zoning in single-family neighbourhoods to allow for gentle densification and more housing options. This solution could result in thousands of new ground-oriented housing units in neighbourhoods that already have all the necessary community infrastructure in place.

The role for the province in this potential solution is in providing funding from Property Transfer Tax (PTT) revenue. This revenue could be used to provide financial incentives for local governments to permit the sale of laneway homes and the voluntary stratification of secondary suites. PTT funds could also be used to update zoning and create a system for stratified suites.

As the voice of BC’s REALTORS®, BCREA looks forward to working with new and returning MLAs to advocate for a renewed focus on housing supply. We see many opportunities for MLAs to work across party lines and collaborate with real estate stakeholders to improve affordability in BC.

See our full list of election recommendations here.

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