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B.C. to launch new standalone ministry of housing

The B.C. government is launching a standalone ministry dedicated to tackling the housing crisis in the province.

The new minister of housing will be announced on Dec. 7, when B.C. Premier David Eby will announce his full cabinet.

Currently, housing responsibilities fall under the purview of Murray Rankin, B.C.'s attorney general and minister responsible for housing.

Before Eby became premier, he also served as the province's attorney general and minister responsible for housing.

"For too many British Columbians, owning or even renting a good home feels out of reach," said Eby in a release Tuesday.

"The housing crisis deserves the attention of a full ministry and the resources that come with it," he said.

"As premier, I am committed to making meaningful progress to make sure everyone in B.C. can afford a good home," he said.

Tuesday's announcement came just one day after the newly minted premier proposed changes to B.C.'s housing laws.

On Monday, Eby introduced legislation that would identify municipalities where housing is needed and set new housing targets for them.

If passed, the new Housing Supply Act would allow the province to issue orders and directives to municipalities if they do not meet their housing targets.

Eby also proposed amendment's to the province's Strata Property Act that would ban most rental restrictions and age restrictions in strata buildings.

BC Housing operates under the attorney general and minister responsible for housing. It's unclear if there will be any changes to the agency once the new housing ministry is formed.

BC Housing has recently undergone sweeping changes. In July, the B.C. government fired all seven commission board members and replaced them with new members.

The changes came after the scope of BC Housing's responsibilities expanded in recent years.

In 2017-2018, BC Housing's total expenditures and revenues totalled $782 million. In 2020-2021, its total expenditures and revenues were $1.9 billion, according to a third-party report commissioned by the province.

With files from CTV Vancouver Island's Todd Coyne and CTV Vancouver's Ian Holliday Top Stories

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