11:44 AM

BC Government Announcement: New action plan delivers more homes for people, faster

The Province’s new housing plan will speed up delivery of new homes, increase the supply of middle-income housing, fight speculation and help those who need it the most.

The 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.”

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.” 

Building on major new investments to build affordable housing in the past five years and measures to reduce speculation and protect people in an overheated housing market, Homes for People tackles persistent permitting and zoning challenges, facilitating the delivery of the housing people need, faster. The plan unlocks more homes by creating the conditions to encourage faster housing construction and reduce development costs, including changes in regulations and zoning, less red tape, more incentives, and a focus on targeted types of housing.

Homes for People also delivers more housing people can afford to rent or buy, including more homes within reach for first-time homebuyers, and protects renters. It supports those who need it the most with more housing for those experiencing homelessness and helps more people afford to find a place to call home. Actions in the plan also aim to build a housing market that puts people ahead of profit with measures to crack down on speculators and profiteers and get the proceeds of crime out of the real estate market.

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.

Quick Facts:

  • Budget 2023 supports the Homes for People action plan, starting with more than $4 billion over three years and a commitment to invest $12 billion over the next 10 years to deliver more homes for people, faster.
  • This builds on the 2018 Homes for B.C. plan, which was the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.’s history – $7 billion – and introduced effective tools to tackle speculation and increase the number of rentals.
  • The Province is on track to deliver a projected 108,000 homes completed or under active construction by 2027-28 with tens of thousands more homes to come through other avenues.
  • The Belonging in BC homelessness plan is delivered through initiatives across government and supported by investments of $1.18 billion in Budget 2023, and $633 million in Budget 2022.
  • More than 100,000 people moved to B.C. in 2021, and another 150,000 people in 2022, the most in 60 years.

Learn More:

To read the Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Homes_For_People.pdf

To view the technical briefing presentation, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Homes4People.pdf

To read the Belonging in BC plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BelongingStrategy.pdf

To learn more about the new Secondary Suites Pilot Program and sign up to email updates, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/secondary-suites

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

To access the single window for provincial housing permitting and authorizations, visit: https://permitconnectbc.gov.bc.ca/

Two backgrounders follow.