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

Fatal shooting was targeted and related to gang conflict, police say

Car found burning in Langley after Abbotsford murder Thursday night

Langley Advance What’s On: Oct. 18, 2018 edition

Submit Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: What’s On).

LETTER: Langley housing group urges voters to pick pledge candidates

Housing is a key election issue for a local group.

Painful Truth: Homelessness is the only issue on Langley ballots

Reporter Matthew Claxton said reducing homelessness should be a focus for those elected.

OUR VIEW: Langley, be sure to get out and vote

Nothing changes if people don’t exercise their democratic right.

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Man who sexually assaulted teen is declared dangerous offender

Anton Foulds has more than 30 convictions, dating back to 1991

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Most Read