Housing supply

David Eby proposes sweeping housing supply measures that trump BC cities

After hinting at sweeping reforms to increase housing supply and control demand through more interventionist policies earlier this year, David Eby today outlined the potential flagship housing strategies he will put in place if he is named the new leader of the BC NDP party, and effectively the next premier of British Columbia.

Eby previously suggested he would remove some powers from city government that control zoning, and now there’s a clearer picture of what he plans to do.

As the new default for what can be built, his leadership campaign platform promises to allow the replacement of single-family residential zoning with up to three units on the same footprint in major urban centers. This form will be permitted as long as the structures comply with existing building setbacks and height requirements stipulated by the municipal government.

The new policy to legalize secondary suites – such as basement units – in all areas of the province also takes precedence over municipal governments.

New provincial housing permit regulations will be “one-stop” and simplified, and reforms to the municipal development permit process recently outlined by a provincial panel will be implemented urgently.

Another major proposed change is to remove the ability for strata councils to restrict the use of units for rental purposes.

In addition, under recent provincial leadership, municipal governments have been required to formulate their own “housing needs” plans that help determine their housing goals. Their established targets would now be used as a minimum standard to catalyze housing supply. Municipal governments that are able to exceed their “housing need” targets will receive additional provincial funding to help cover the cost of building community amenities, while cities that do not meet the targets will see provincial intervention to meet demands for growth.

“We are in a housing crisis, and our laws should reflect that – where they impede the provision of housing or lead to lengthy and unnecessary approval processes, we must change the situation, the platform reads. -form of Eby’s party leadership.

Eby is also seeking to further increase direct provincial government financial support for affordable housing construction led by non-profit and First Nations housing operators. For example, grants to non-profit housing operators would be doubled for their shovel-ready projects to quickly respond to homelessness.

To accelerate a new “rental housing acquisition strategy,” Eby has offered to provide $500 million in provincial funding to launch the program, which will be used by nonprofit housing operators to purchase apartment buildings. affordable rentals put up for sale and to protect tenants. of displacement.

Regarding market rental accommodation, a new law will establish a right of first refusal that discourages large international corporations from acquiring such properties to raise rents as a source of income-generating investment.

Eby’s extensive housing platform also includes various other supply-generating measures through the creation of the new BC Builds public housing development initiative and new demand-side interventionist measures including a new reverse tax regime .

Eby is the MPP for Vancouver-Point Grey. Last summer, he resigned as BC attorney general and minister responsible for housing to join the BC NDP leadership race.

BC NDP members are expected to choose Eby as their new party leader later this fall, and effectively the province’s new premier to replace John Horgan, who has decided to step down. Climate activist Anjali Appandurai is Eby’s only challenger.