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News Release – Province announces 2,900 rental units

September 19, 2016

The BC Government is committing $500 million to supplying 2,900 rental units for British Columbians.

The Urban Development Institute applauds the Government for reinvesting tax revenues toward creating more affordable homes.

At the September 19th news conference, the Premier noted that this is “one piece of the puzzle” for addressing housing affordability. All three levels of government have a role to play. UDI agrees with the Premier that insufficient zoning is a major constraint on the supply of new housing, which hinders affordability.  However, it is unfair for municipalities to shoulder all of the zoning responsibility. UDI recommends that the Provincial and Federal Governments expand their roles to ensure that there is adequate zoning for new housing in large Canadian cities. In particular, this could be done by providing a framework to ensure that the multi-billion dollar investments in transit infrastructure are linked directly to municipal and regional land use planning – with specific density targets in place nearby new rapid transit investments.

British Columbia is currently enjoying a budget surplus, largely due to real estate tax revenues. This has allowed for today’s announcement of new funding for rental housing. The development industry is ready to deliver even more affordable housing, but municipal red tape and restrictive zoning regulations must be addressed.

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