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Vancouver city council approves motion to fast-track social housing construction

Vancouver city council approved a motion that will help fast-track social housing projects. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver council has approved a motion to fast-track new social housing projects in the city.

It will direct the city to study how social housing, up to 12 storeys in some neighbourhoods, can be approved without re-zoning and public hearing.

The motion was put forward by councillor Christine Boyle.

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Proponents argue removing those steps will speed up the process and reduce costs.

Boyle brought forward a similar motion last year that was defeated on the council floor but succeeded following amendments from other councillors this time.

“The amendments made it slow. How much they slow it down will be up to the council, so I will certainly continue to push hard that we need to reduce barriers and build the housing that we know we badly need,” Boyle said.

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Boyle said there will still be ways for people to engage and provide input when projects are proposed but streamlining the projects is what is most important.

“A multi-year rezoning on each project adds years and millions of dollars in costs and makes it harder to build the housing we know we need,” Boyle said.

“Speeding up the process makes it more affordable, reduces risk, and makes it more likely to secure senior government funding.”

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