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Housing to be main focus of fall legislative session

Ravi Kahlon

The fall sitting of the B.C. legislature begins today and the province says new laws will be tabled designed to deliver more homes for people, faster; transition to clean energy; and keep people safe and communities strong.

“Everybody in B.C. wants to be able to build a good life here with an affordable home in a safe community they love, surrounded by quality public services and good job opportunities,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing and Government House Leader. “This fall legislative session, our government will be laser-focused on the things that matter most to people. Because at a time when things are feeling harder in a lot of ways, it’s more important than ever that we work together to solve today’s challenges.”

Government will bring in several pieces of unique legislation, including new housing legislation that aims to address persistent permitting and zoning challenges, speed up delivery and increase the supply of middle-income housing. Other legislation to be introduced will improve emergency management, support victims of crime, update international credentialling so more people can work in their chosen field, and further advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

“We have made real progress to deliver more homes for people, but a fast-growing population combined with high interest rates have brought new complexities,” Kahlon said. “The housing crisis is hurting people and that’s why we’re taking action this fall to meet this moment, tackle these challenges head on, and deliver more homes for people, faster.”

Housing bills to be introduced over the fall session are part of the province’s Homes for People action plan. Announced in spring 2023, the plan builds on record investments in housing since 2017 and sets out several actions to deliver the homes people need in a shorter time, while creating more vibrant communities throughout B.C.

Housing actions and legislation this fall include:

* delivering more small-scale, multi-unit housing that is within reach for middle-income earners, including townhomes, duplexes and triplexes through zoning changes and proactive partnerships;

* allowing secondary and basement suites in every community in B.C.;

* strengthening enforcement of short-term rentals and bringing more long-term rentals back to the housing market;

* speeding up municipal and provincial permitting to reduce costs, remove unnecessary delays and deliver more homes faster; and,

* delivering thousands of new homes in areas well-served by transit and creating more vibrant communities with services near transit hubs.

 

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