Empowering Local Governments to Accelerate Housing Delivery

Empowering Local Governments to Accelerate Housing Delivery

In a concerted effort to address the pressing need for more housing, the Province is championing local governments by providing financial assistance to expedite the construction of homes in compliance with new provincial legislative standards.

Minister of Housing, Ravi Kahlon, emphasized the urgency, stating, "There is an immediate requirement for additional housing, and we are collaborating with local governments to streamline the construction process." With a series of new housing initiatives aimed at addressing community needs, the focus is on aiding local governments in enhancing processes for the swift construction of housing that is critically needed by residents.

Recent legislation, including measures for transit-oriented development and small-scale, multi-unit housing, underscores the commitment to creating more housing options. Beginning January 18, 2024, the Province will allocate $51 million in grant-based funding from Budget 2023 to all 188 local governments in British Columbia, encompassing municipalities, regional districts, and the Islands Trust. This financial support is designed to assist local governments in meeting the newly mandated requirements.

Recognizing the immediate challenges faced by local governments, the Province is taking a proactive approach by providing upfront funding to facilitate essential work. This funding can be utilized by local governments to update housing needs reports, zoning bylaws, development cost charge, and amenity cost charge bylaws, along with community plans. These funds can be allocated for hiring consultants and staff, conducting research, and engaging with the community, thereby expediting the transition to enhance the development approvals process. The upfront nature of this funding is particularly advantageous for smaller local governments with limited resources for making necessary changes.

This financial support is part of the groundbreaking $19-billion housing investment by the government. Since 2017, the Province has seen significant progress, with over 77,000 homes either delivered or in progress.

Additional Information:

In conjunction with the $51 million, the Province has allocated an extra $10 million for a second intake of the Local Government Development Approvals Program (LGDAP), a grant fund managed by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. Launched in 2021, LGDAP supports local government-led projects that implement best practices and innovative approaches to enhance development approval processes. Applications for this funding opened on January 1, 2024, with successful recipients expected to be announced in spring 2024.

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