B.C. Releases Watch List of 10 Municipalities Struggling to Meet Housing Targets - Fifth Avenue REM mediaiqdigital tracking pixel
Market Intelligence, Real Estate News | June 12, 2023

All except for one location are situated in the Lower Mainland or Greater Victoria region. The specific targets for constructing buildings will be determined during the summer season.

The provincial government has released its first-ever roster of municipalities where it intends to adopt a more assertive approach in establishing elevated housing targets for local city halls. Furthermore, it has warned of potential repercussions if they fail to comply.

Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon, while unveiling the list, emphasized the crucial role of municipalities in tackling the housing crisis and constructing prosperous communities.

“Municipalities are vital partners in addressing the housing crisis and fostering the development of thriving, economically sustainable areas,” he stated.

In the upcoming weeks, municipalities will convene with their staff to determine the specific details and parameters of the housing targets.

The communities named by the government are:

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

Kahlon explained that the selection of the 10 communities was based on a comprehensive metric that considered 10 different factors.

These factors encompassed elements such as the quantity of affordable rentals within a community, housing density, accessibility to amenities, and the length of waitlists for social housing.

Moving forward, the provincial government will collaborate directly with the municipalities to establish housing targets, which will be disclosed to the public. Subsequently, the municipalities will be required to demonstrate to the province the measures they have taken to achieve these targets throughout the remainder of 2023, utilizing the newly implemented digital permitting processes provided by the province.

Kahlon stated that if the provincial government deems municipalities to have inadequately addressed the housing issue by early 2024, they may assume additional supervision over certain housing decisions. However, he did not offer specific details regarding the nature of this oversight.

The Majority of Municipalities are Largely in Agreement or Supportive of the Initiative

Several communities on the list expressed enthusiasm for collaborating with the government to set housing targets and effectively implement them.

Mayor Meghan Lahti of Port Moody, a community that maintained its population despite the addition of a rapid transit line, eagerly welcomed the opportunity to contribute the required number of housing units to meet the growing demand.

Lahti emphasized the recognition of opportunities to enhance housing diversity by including affordable and seniors’ housing, as well as units suitable for accessibility and families.

Kahlon acknowledged that not all communities were wholeheartedly supportive of the provincial government’s measures.

West Vancouver Mayor Mark Sager, whose community has frequently engaged in heated discussions concerning population growth and development, expressed a cautious stance and preferred to adopt a wait-and-see approach.

Sager highlighted the importance of enhancing housing opportunities for various individuals, such as employees, school district staff, and essential service workers. He emphasized the need for ensuring occupied homes rather than merely constructing vacant ones. Sager expressed his desire to receive more specific details regarding the proposed initiatives.


With files from the CBC. 

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