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Victoria unveils new housing plan for province

Ravi Kahlon

The province has unveiled new housing plan that it claims will speed up delivery of new homes, increase the supply of middle-income housing, fight speculation and help those who need it the most.

They call it the Homes for People plan.

“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, in a news release. “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.”

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 speculators – the actions in Homes for People include:

  • delivering more middle-income small-scale, multi-unit housing that people can afford, including town homes, duplexes and triplexes through zoning changes and proactive partnerships;
  • offering forgivable loans for homeowners to build and rent secondary suites below market rates to increase affordable rental supply quickly;
  • 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;
  • introducing a flipping tax to discourage short-term speculation;
  • providing an annual income-tested tax credit of up to $400 per year for renters;
  • providing more homes and supports for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness;
  • streamlining and modernizing permitting to reduce costs and speed up approvals to get homes built faster; and
  • strengthening 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.”

Alongside Homes for People, government is implementing Belonging in BC, a plan to prevent and reduce homelessness. The plan adds 3,900 new supportive housing units and 240 complex-care spaces provincewide, and creates multidisciplinary regional response teams designed to rapidly respond to encampments to better support people sheltering outdoors to move inside.

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