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B.C. moves to increase housing supply, deliver more homes faster
New measures are coming to B.C. that will help create more housing as the Province speeds up permitting and helps build more secondary suites for rent.
The first action focuses on speeding up the permitting process through the launch of a one-stop shop that eliminates the need for multiple permitting applications across different ministries. The Single Housing Application Service (SHAS) will help deliver more homes faster by creating a simpler permitting application for homebuilders. The service will help clear permitting backlogs, while maintaining environmental standards. With the introduction of SHAS, the Province expects permit timelines to be reduced by two months.
The SHAS connects homebuilders to “navigators,” dedicated staff in the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, who guide applicants through all stages of permit applications, act as the single, dedicated point of contact for all information related to homebuilding permits and co-ordinate permitting decisions across ministries.
The second initiative centres on secondary suites and comes ahead of planned legislation this fall to make secondary suites legal throughout the province, and a pilot incentive program to help homeowners build secondary suites.
To help homeowners navigate this process, the Province has launched a new comprehensive guide, titled Home Suite Home. The guide provides people with the information to prepare to build and manage a rental suite in British Columbia. This follows recent steps to make improvements at B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Branch, including more timely dispute resolutions.
The guide can be used as a resource for people preparing to access the Secondary Suite Incentive Program (SSIP). The pilot program, set to launch in early spring 2024, will provide approximately 3,000 homeowners with forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to create a new secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit on their property. The loans will only go to properties that will be rented below market rates. Additional eligibility requirements of the program have been made available so people interested can prepare ahead of the launch.
These initiatives 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 timeframe, while creating more vibrant communities throughout B.C.
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METRO VANCOUVER MARKET HIGHLIGHTS
Seasonal slowdown brings price stability to Metro Vancouver
As summer winds to a close, higher borrowing costs have begun to permeate the Metro Vancouver1 housing market in predictable ways, with price gains cooling and sales slowing along the typical seasonal pattern.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales2 in the region totalled 2,296 in August 2023, a 21.4 per cent increase from the 1,892 sales recorded in August 2022. This was 13.8 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (2,663) …read the REGBV report