B.C. Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

B.C. to give municipalities final say over rental zoning

City halls will be required to provide housing needs assessment

Local governments are getting the additional powers they asked for to require construction of more rental housing, Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson says.

Legislation presented by the B.C. government Tuesday would give municipal councils authority to require a share of undeveloped land to be reserved for rentals. Redevelopment of rental properties would also be subject to replacement by new rental, but the rental share would be up to the local government.

Robinson said the changes respond to requests from local governments for stronger zoning tools to increase rental stock. In urban communities such as Metro Vancouver, the market produces mostly either single-family homes or compact condos for sale, she said.

“This will prevent rentals from being torn down so they can be redeveloped into luxury condos that only a few people can afford,” Robinson said. 

RELATED: Condo contract rules target property flippers

The province isn’t changing regulation of rent, but Robinson said increasing the rental supply is expected to stabilize rents that have soared in communities with near-zero rental vacancy rates.

Another legislative change requires local governments to collect data on housing types to use for land use planning. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said larger communities such as the Capital Regional District are already doing this, planning for 20 years out.

CRD plans indicate that the South Island region will need more than 34,000 additional rental units over the next 20 years, Helps said. Giving regions the authority to do the data collection and planning means smaller communities don’t have to do it on their own.

Helps said it is important for councils to work with the development industry on expanded rental construction, rather than imposing new quotas on them.

Just Posted

Teen stabbed at Surrey’s Unwin Park

17 year old was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

North Delta teacher nominated for provincial award

Seaquam Secondary’s Michael Iachetta has been nominated for his work on social equity in schools

No WorkSafeBC orders issued after ruptured water main damaged White Rock theatre

Investigation confirms that the water line ruptured as a result of pressure testing

City offering relief for North Delta residents affected by Surrey townhouse fire

Delta will waive fees and expedite permits for those rebuilding from the July 5 blaze

3 ‘Dream Home’ lottery prizes located in South Surrey

Proceeds support BC Children’s Hospital

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Porsche impounded for going 138 km/hr in 90 zone during charity rally

West Vancouver Police said wet roads and heavy rain made it extra dangerous

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read