Victoria: The provincial government has announced its plan to speed up of making new houses available, increase the supply of middle-income housing, fight speculation and help those who need it the most.
The government said its Homes for People plan will deliver more homes people need in a shorter timeframe and build more vibrant communities throughout B.C.
“If you’ve scrolled through rental listings or seen the prices of homes in your community, you know how tough it is to find an affordable, decent place to live,” said Premier David Eby.
“Even though our province is currently building more housing than ever before, it’s just not enough to meet the need. This plan will take us to the next level with unprecedented actions to tackle the challenges head on, delivering even more homes for people, faster,” he added.
The government’s plan is focused on four priorities — unlocking more homes faster; delivering better, more affordable homes; helping those with the greatest housing need; and creating a housing market for people, not speculator.
According to a press release, Homes of People plan includes delivering more middle-income small-scale, multi-unit housing that people can afford, including townhomes, duplexes and triplexes through zoning changes and proactive partnerships; and offering forgivable loans for homeowners to build and rent secondary suites below market rates to increase affordable rental supply quickly.
Besides, the plan also includes building thousands more affordable homes for renters, Indigenous Peoples on and off reserve, women and children leaving violence, and building thousands more on-campus student housing units; delivering thousands of new homes near public transit, and launching BC Builds to use public land to deliver affordable homes for people.
The government will also introduce a flipping tax to discourage short-term speculation and provide an annual income-tested tax credit of up to $400 per year for renters.
The province also plans to provide more homes and supports for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, streamline and modernize permitting to reduce costs and speed up approvals to get homes built faster; and strengthen enforcement of short-term rentals.
“We are in urgent need of more housing throughout British Columbia, which is why we are taking strong steps through our Homes for People strategy to close the gap between supply and demand,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing.
“We are working with our partners to unlock more homes across the spectrum of housing faster than ever, so everyone in our province can have a safe, secure and stable place to call home,” he added.