Expanding BC's speculation and vacancy tax to bring more homes to people, faster (flickr.com)

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Ministry of Finance

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Taking action to deliver more homes for people

The government has made progress to deliver housing for people in B.C., fighting speculation and building record numbers of homes, including accelerating housing construction even further.

As part of the government’s Homes for People plan, the Province introduced new legislation and took several steps this fall to deliver the homes people need faster, while creating more vibrant communities throughout B.C. These actions include:

  • amending bylaws to deliver more small-scale, multi-unit housing that is more within reach for middle-class earners, including townhomes, triplexes and laneway homes;
  • creating new standardized designs for small-scale, multi-unit homes through the new Standardized Housing Design Project;
  • allowing homeowners with secondary and basement suites in every community in B.C. to support the upcoming provincial pilot secondary suite incentive program;
  • introducing short-term rental legislation to help turn more short-term rentals back into homes for people;
  • introducing legislation aimed at speeding up the delivery of more homes near transit hubs;
  • introducing legislation to reduce construction delays and streamline processes to fund key services, infrastructure and amenities for growing communities;
  • removing zoning barriers and speeding up housing development approvals, by shifting local planning and zoning processes to take place up front;
  • investing $51 million in capacity funding to support local governments’ work to update their processes to meet new requirements to accelerate approval processes and build the homes people need;
  • protecting renters by limiting annual rent increases to below inflation for the second year in a row to 3.5% in 2024; and
  • introducing a new tax credit for renters – up to $400 a year back from the Government of B.C. for people who rent their homes.

The Province also introduced the Housing Supply Act to help deliver more good homes for people where they’re needed most.

  • The act will help increase the supply of housing in B.C. by establishing housing targets for specified municipalities to meet the crucial housing needs of their communities.
  • The first cohort of municipalities have been selected and targets have been released.
  • A second cohort of eight to 10 municipalities will be selected and notified in late 2023.

Amendments were made to the Strata Property Act to make it possible for homes that are vacant to be rented, while also removing discriminatory age and rental restrictions that hurt young families.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, people who build rental units with at least four suites and keep them as rentals for 10 years can apply for a new property transfer tax exemption.

Budget 2023 supports the Homes for People action plan, starting with more than $4 billion over three years and a commitment to invest $12 billion over the next 10 years to deliver more homes for people, faster. This investment builds on the government's $7 billion commitment from 2018.

Since 2017, nearly 77,000 homes have been delivered or are underway throughout the province.