VICTORIA — British Columbia is set to streamline its housing development process with the introduction of new standardized designs for small-scale, multi-unit homes, aimed at speeding up construction and reducing costs for homeowners and builders.
The initiative, announced in Victoria, is part of the Standardized Housing Design Project (SHDP), which focuses on providing practical, customizable designs for townhomes, triplexes, and laneway houses.
The province recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) to select a consultant team and will continue accepting proposals until Dec. 13.
The selected team will advise on the development of these standardized, customizable designs, ensuring they are adaptable to various lot sizes across British Columbia.
Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing, emphasized the need for innovative solutions to address the housing crisis. He highlighted standardized designs would simplify the permitting process and be available at below-market costs. This project is a direct response to legislative changes that permit increased housing units on lands zoned for single-family homes and duplexes, especially near transit hubs, explained a release.
Part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government, the SHDP aligns with the Homes for People action plan. It seeks to create conditions for faster housing construction while reducing development costs and approval delays. It complements the Housing Supply Act, setting housing targets for municipalities with significant housing needs.
The project’s final goal is to have the standardized designs ready for local governments by summer 2024. These designs will comply with the BC Building Code and be near building-permit ready.