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Partner In Community Building

As a “Partner in Community Building”, the Urban Development Institute is committed to working with communities and governments to create and achieve the vision of balanced, well-planned and sustainable communities. The Urban Development Institute, a non-profit association of the development industry in British Columbia, promotes wise and efficient urban growth, good planning and good development practices, affordable housing and high quality commercial and industrial developments.

UDI has a number of municipal liaison, policy and professional development committees to engage and collaborate with government and members. If you are interested in participating, please contact our Member Relations Manager.

KEY POLICY PRIORITIES - 2020

TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT

Supply needs to follow transit as a means of addressing affordability and livability throughout our region. With our current rapid transit system, many key stations are under-utilized as they are zoned for single-family homes and/or low density development (i.e. Nanaimo and 29th stations, Broadway corridor). Regional density targets need to be set in these communities and around its stations. Municipal land-use plans (e.g. Official Community Plans) should be updated with density targets to accommodate growth further into the future. No future rapid transit lines should be approved without corresponding growth targets along the line

RENTAL HOUSING STOCK

As another means of addressing affordability and different housing types for everyone, there needs to be more purpose-built rental development in our region. With vacancy rates from 0.3-0.9% and the recent increase of short-term rentals in the market, tenants are further challenged to find a home. As land and operation costs escalate and the approvals processes are delayed, purpose-built rental becomes an unfeasible venture for developers. There are also conflicting “rate of change” policies to address the current aging rental stock. Once these hurdles are removed, our industry is then able to meet market demand and build accordingly.

ADDRESSING THE “MISSING MIDDLE”

As single-family homes become less affordable in our region, buyers need to consider other housing options. This requires a paradigm shift in the definition of a “home”. There is a recent trend where low rises and townhomes are becoming the new “family” home (with at least 2+den or 3 bedrooms). However, given the current obstacles in development, high-rises are more feasible for developers to build. As such, 2+den and 3 bedroom homes form the “missing middle” of housing type for all buyer types – young families and/or downsizers.

SUPPLY-SIDE MEASURES

To address the top three key priorities at UDI, all levels of government must pursue more supply-side measures to encourage efficient urban growth:

  • More transparent and faster approvals process
  • Zoning for higher densities, especially near transit
  • Fair and predictable fees and charges (Eg. community amenity contributions)

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