VANCOUVER – British Columbia Premier David Eby has announced a new provincial commitment of $61 million for municipalities to help them with building capacity to meet new housing density initiatives.
The funding aims to help with implementation of anticipated changes to development approval processes, planning and zoning, such as small-scale multi-unit housing along with other initiatives.
“Our plan to rezone single-family lots throughout the province will allow for an influx of urgently needed housing people can actually afford to rent or buy like duplexes, triplexes and townhouses. We know this is going to be an adjustment for some local governments, but we need to take urgent action together. That’s why we’re providing local governments with support to implement these changes, improve their development-approval processes and connect with other communities to share ideas and best practices,” Eby said.
The $61 million is split into two streams. The first is a $51 million commitment through the 2023 budget to support local governments in meeting new housing density requirements, distributed over a three-year period and aimed at supporting efforts to accelerate local government housing approval processes.
Another provincial investment of $10 million will create a second intake for the Local Government Development Approvals Program, an application-based grant fund managed by the Union of B.C. Municipalities created in 2021, a release said.
B.C. is also supporting the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) to develop and implement a new peer-learning network to help local government staff share existing best practices and innovative approaches to streamline development approvals and advance housing supply, the release said.
Once operational, the release said, the peer learning network will help local-government professionals build capacity for streamlining development approvals and increasing housing supply through education with local governments, planners and stakeholders.
The provincial government has provided PIBC with $500,000 in funding to support the PLN’s development and implementation, with an expected launch in winter 2024.