Victoria wants to impose housing construction targets on municipalities
Prime Minister David Eby says action is needed now to end the housing crisis.
David Eby's majority government introduces two bills to improve housing supply in British Columbia. The first could impose targets on municipalities for the creation of new housing, and the second wants to modify the law on condominiums to eliminate restrictions on rentals.
New Democrat David Eby was once the province's housing minister.
As of 2019, all regional districts and municipalities must prepare a report outlining their current and future housing needs. The first of these reports was tabled in April, and the next is expected in five years.
The first bill would allow Victoria to use these reports to impose new housing construction targets on municipalities that are too late or respond poorly to demand.
Targets would be established in collaboration with said municipalities.
The bill foresees that the government could compel recalcitrant municipalities to act, using a cabinet order, Prime Minister David Eby explained.
“The new law allows an advisor to be sent to the municipality to establish the problems that prevent it from achieving its targets. This adviser can then make recommendations to the government: that a project be permitted, that zoning be adopted, or that another form of action be taken to ensure that housing is built. [The bill] empowers the executive council, the cabinet, to order a city to do one of these things.
—David Eby, Premier of British Columbia
I hope we will never have to use [these tools provided for in the bill], added the Prime Minister. That's not why it was created, it was created to provide a framework so that we don't have to. But [this bill] includes measures to empower him.
First, the province intends to target the 8 to 10 municipalities where the need for rental housing is the greatest and where the rate of population growth is the highest. Victoria did not list the affected municipalities, saying only that it would be compiled using their housing reports and would be published once the bill is passed.
If passed, which is almost inevitable, since David Eby has the support of a majority government, the law would come into force at the beginning from 2023.
On the other hand, the second condominium bill wants to make restrictions on the number of units that can be rented in a building illegal.
More , he wants to ban restrictions on the age of people who live in rental accommodation.
Province will allow 55+ buildings to provide continuity of seniors communities, but prohibit any other form of age restrictions .
It will become illegal, for example, to refuse to rent real estate to people under the age of 18 or to families with children.
The province points out that the rules imposed by some condominium units violate provincial human rights regulations.
David Eby argues that the owners of accommodation they wish to rent should have this right.
Condominium owners will however be able to maintain restrictions on very short-term rentals such as Airbnb or Vrbo .