The British Columbia government has a new program to quickly build more homes to address the growing housing crisis in the province. The program is called Homes for People, and it aims to invest $4 billion over three years and $12 billion over the next decade. The plan includes incentives to build, laws to prevent speculation, and financial support for renters and homeowners.
According to CBC News, Premier David Eby said the housing crisis affects everyone in the province and hurts the economy. Eby said, “Businesses are struggling to attract workers who can’t afford to live in the communities where the jobs are.”
Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon pledged to introduce legislation this fall to allow for building three to four units on a single-family lot. This means that more duplexes, triplexes, and row homes can be built without a lengthy zoning process. Kahlon also said that legislation would be introduced to allow for secondary suites in every community across the province.
The government will also provide a forgivable loan of up to $40,000 over five years to homeowners willing to rent out secondary suites at below-market rates for at least five years. The program is expected to be open to at least 3,000 homeowners for the first three years.
The government is also planning to introduce a flipping tax to discourage speculation. Eby said that the tax will be designed to deter people from buying homes to sell them for a higher price shortly afterward, which drives up housing costs.
In addition, the government plans to add 3,900 new supportive housing units and 240 complex care spaces to reduce homelessness. There will also be teams to respond to encampments and support those living outside quickly.
The goal of the Homes for People plan is to build more homes quickly and help more British Columbians find affordable places to live.
It may not solve everyone’s housing problems, but it’s a good start.