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B.C. to set housing goals for 10 major communities under new housing act

The B.C. government will set housing targets for 10 major communities on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland in an effort to combat the province's housing shortage.

The 10 communities, centred around Greater Victoria and Metro Vancouver, were chosen using an "empirical index" that was created by the province while working with economists and housing experts.

"The index relies on measures that prioritize the urgency of local housing needs, the availability of the right housing supply – including land availability and unrealized potential for more homes, and housing affordability," said the province in a release Wednesday.

The 10 communities selected by the province are:

  • City of Abbotsford
  • City of Delta
  • City of Kamloops
  • District North Vancouver
  • District of Oak Bay
  • City of Port Moody
  • District of Saanich
  • City of Vancouver
  • City of Victoria
  • District of West Vancouver

The province says it's still working on exact housing targets for each community, and will work with the selected municipalities to set the final housing goals.

Once the targets are chosen over the summer, the province says it will support the municipalities in reaching their goals.

Only as a last resort will the province compel municipalities, through directives or orders, to reach their housing targets, under the NDP government's new Housing Supply Act, which was introduced earlier this year.

"The housing challenges we see today aren't just limited to one municipality, they impact our region and province as a whole," said Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim in a statement Wednesday.

"It's great to see the provincial government taking an increased leadership role in ensuring the delivery of more housing across the province," he said.

"In the last six months, Vancouver has made significant headway in breaking down longstanding barriers to housing approval and construction. We hope our progress can inspire other communities across British Columbia to take bold action on housing."

The province says it plans to select a second cohort of eight to 10 municipalities for another round of housing targets in late 2023.

"The announcement today ensures that housing supply gets approved quickly in communities where we need it most," said Jill Atkey, CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association.

"What’s more, it goes beyond supply by considering local incomes and setting targets for affordable housing and couldn’t come at a more critical time," she said. Top Stories


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