The province has set targets for 10 municipalities to build a certain number of housing units within five years, and three South Island municipalities will be required to build 10,176 units combined.
This comes after the province released its “naughty list” of 10 municipalities that will have set housing targets, with the government noting that these 10 are just the first round with more municipalities to come.
On the South Island, Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay are among the first 10 municipalities that have been set housing targets. Victoria has been tasked with building 4,902 units, Saanich with 4,610 units and Oak Bay with 664.
Of the first 10, Victoria has the third highest target, behind Vancouver with 28,900 units and Abbotsford with 7,240 units.
“The housing crisis is hurting people, holding back our economy and impacting the services we all count on,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing.
“We’re taking action and working with municipal partners to make sure more homes are built in communities with the greatest housing need. The targets include thousands of below-market rental units for the largest and fastest-growing communities. This means more people will be able to find a home in the community they love.”
As part of setting these targets, the 10 municipalities will be provided resources to speed up the approval process.
The province says these targets mark at 38 per cent increase in overall housing built in the municipalities.
Along with the number of units set, these targets come with recommended numbers of units by size, rentals versus owned, below-market rentals and units with on-site supports. The guidelines across all 10 municipalities include more than 16,800 below-market rentals.
“These targets are a step toward creating more homes to meet the diverse housing needs of Saanich residents,” said Dean Murdock, mayor of Saanich. “We are committed to working together with the province on housing solutions, and welcome their support to help us achieve our goals.”
The 10 municipalities will have their progress evaluated in six months, then every year after that.
In 2022, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said B.C. would need to build 570,000 housing units by 2030 in order to restore housing affordability. In 2019, B.C. set the goal of building 114,000 units over 10 years, which the province re-affirmed was the goal in its 2023 budget.