The B.C. government is making it easier for developers and home builders to get approvals to build more homes in the province.
Rather than requiring multiple provincial permit applications from different ministries with different processes to obtain approvals and construction to build more homes, the province is creating a “one-stop-shop approach” to permitting.
“Every British Columbian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Unfortunately, this simply wasn’t a priority for more than a decade,” said Premier David Eby in a release. “As we turn things around and start to build record levels of housing, we are taking action today to remove obstacles to constructing new homes that families desperately need.”
This new permitting strategy will be established in the next few months but in the meantime, permit and authorization decisions will be expedited through a cross-ministry team focused solely on housing projects, the B.C. government explained in a release.
This coordinated approach will also make application reviews more streamlined for First Nations, which are consulted on each provincial authorization.
“Having dedicated resources and a cross-ministry team prioritizing housing permits means we can make significantly more progress on getting British Columbians the housing they need,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship.
“Establishing a single-application approach is an investment that will deliver more housing for people faster, and this will also result in immediate and future benefits for the entire natural resources sector.”
The permitting strategy will create 42 new full-time positions. Once those positions are filled, the team can be increased to 203 positions, the province explained.
This latest housing announcement comes after the government introduced a new $500-million affordable rental protection fund.
That money is earmarked to allow non-profit housing organizations to buy older rental buildings by providing them with one-time capital grants.