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Member Newsletter: March 31st

March 31, 2017


Member Newsletter   |   March 31, 2017


This bulletin updates our stakeholders on UDI news, advocacy work, legislation, events, surveys, relevant media stories and more. Feedback welcome to Director of Communications, Cheryl Ziola.





Federal Budget:  UDI opposed a potential increase in the Capital Gains Inclusion Rate, and recommended greater investment in housing and transportation in a letter to Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau in advance of Budget Day. We were pleased the Budget made no mention of the Capital Gains Inclusion Rate while housing and transportation were prominent. For more information on the National Housing Strategy and transit investments, click here.



UDI Building Code Committee Meets with Senior Provincial Official 
The UDI Building Code Committee met with the Executive Director of the Building and Safety Standards Branch, Andrew Pape-Salmon, on March 30th to discuss:

Energy Step Code
UDI is represented on the Energy Step Code Council, which is currently overseeing costing and industry capacity studies, and a Best Practices Guide. The Building Code Committee will also meet with City of Vancouver staff on April 7th to discuss the City’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings, and how it integrates with District Energy and low-carbon energy systems.

Contaminated Sites
The UDI Contaminated Sites Committee is meeting April 5th, following the Omnibus Breakfast Seminar. Glyn Fox, Head of Science and Standards, Land Remediation Section of the Ministry of Environment and City of Vancouver staff will join the meeting to discuss challenges and solutions.

Provincial Election Forum
With the Provincial election approaching, candidates have proposed various housing policies.  Most recently, the NDP proposed a Housing Affordability Fund and Speculator Fee Act. Under the NDP’s two proposals:

  • A retroactive foreign buyer tax would be applied to foreign nationals who did not pay B.C income tax, regardless of how long their properties have been owned.
  •  A 2% tax would be applied on the assessed value of all such property.

More information on the NDP’s proposal can be

found here.
The BC Liberal party’s housing platform can be found here.
On April 12th there is a Provincial election housing forum. This forum will provide an opportunity for members to ask questions to provincial candidates regarding their proposed housing policies.  We encourage members to attend and ask questions.



Metro Vancouver
DCC rates –  Industry consultations are postponed until after the capital plan is finalized. Preliminary insights into the rate changes suggest that proposed DCC rates could be two to three times higher than current rates (see Nov.18 DCC Report here). UDI will update and engage members when the consultation process starts.

Port Coquitlam
EV charging policy for new developments – the City is consulting until April 21st on this policy. The policy includes requiring rough-ins of Level 2 EV charging infrastructure in the parking area of new apartment buildings, with outlets accessible to each resident parking spot (there are no requirements for visitor spots). Outlets could be shared between spaces. Negotiations would occur for commercial/industrial projects.  UDI will be responding to the City. If you have any comments, please contact UDI by April 13th, 2017.

City of Vancouver (CoV)
The Housing and Homelessness Strategy Reset – Housing Vancouver Emerging Directions was discussed at the Regular Council meeting on March 28thPresentation here.  Many of the suggestions in this report are in line with what UDI has long been advocating for, including increased housing supply, pre-zoning, fixed CACs, incentives for rental, and a more diverse range of housing options near transit.
UDI and the City of Vancouver will have a Liaison Committee meeting on April 4th.  At this meeting, UDI will receive an update on the City’s Permit and Advisory Committee, Neighbourhood Plans, the Empty Homes Tax, the Housing Re-Set Report, Urban Design Panel changes, and the City-wide DCL Review.

The Railtown I-4 (Historic Industrial District) proposed rezoning is going to public hearing on April 11th. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the the City or UDI, by noon on April 7th.

City of North Vancouver
Density Bonus and Community Benefits Policy – The City invited UDI to participate in a meeting April 5, 2-4pm at City Hall Atrium/Community room. Contact UDI if you are interested in attending.

City of New Westminster
Economic Development Strategy –  City staff are seeking UDI feedback. Meeting at  UDI office on April 6th at 4pm.  Contact UDI if you are interested in attending.

City of Surrey
NEXUS Pilot Project
At the March 23rd Development Advisory Committee meeting, staff reviewed a Pilot Program to expedite six to eight projects which align with Council priorities, are consistent with the City’s plans and have economic benefits. Staff note that they will seek continued improvements in project scheduling and will pilot surety bonds. If you have a project that might qualify, please discuss it with the City planner at your pre-application meeting. See Surrey Report here.

Township of Langley
UDI wrote a letter to the Township of Langley providing suggestions on the Township’s proposed CAC Program. UDI has established a CAC Sub-committee which will be working with the planning department throughout the CAC Program process. If you have any questions please contact UDI.

Housing Data Cheat Sheet – We’ve compiled a list of useful resources for housing information and current statistics that support our policy positions. Check it out here.
Regional Presentation on Climate Change Adaptation
 Jeff Fisher, VP & Senior Policy Advisor at UDI, gave a presentation on Climate Change Adaptation at a joint SFU/Surrey Student Conference on March 16thFull presentation here.



April 20th Lunch: Andrew Ramlo


Meet the man behind Bob Rennie’s stats and research…

UDI is pleased to welcome our keynote April luncheon speaker: Andrew Ramlo, Vice-President of Market Intelligence of the Rennie Group and Executive Director of the Urban Futures Institute!


Past Events:

Sonja Trauss – SFBARF Founder – Missed this insightful and entertaining presentation? Watch the video on facebook and view the presentation slides. Read the media release.


UDI in the Media
With housing being such a prominent subject of discussion as we head into an election, UDI has garnered significant media coverage.

Media Coverage on a variety of topics:

BC Budget 2017: UDI supported the Province’s Property Tax Relief for First-Time Homebuyers, additional schools funding & 5,000+ Units of Affordable Housing via UDI media release.

Vancouver Sun: Reaction mixed from interest group responding to BC 2017 Budget

Vancouver Sun: Three transit oriented communities in Metro rival Coal Harbour for empty or underused housing.

Vancouver Sun: Mike Smyth: Liberals pursue density at transit hubs as answer to the housing crunch

CKNW: UDI CEO Anne McMullin interview appeared on this segment (16:27 mark on March 4 episode)

CBC National: Character Home Rezoning

Vancouver Sun: Foreign buyer Tax exemption 

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