B.C. Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

B.C. to give municipalities final say over rental zoning

City halls will be required to provide housing needs assessment

Local governments are getting the additional powers they asked for to require construction of more rental housing, Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson says.

Legislation presented by the B.C. government Tuesday would give municipal councils authority to require a share of undeveloped land to be reserved for rentals. Redevelopment of rental properties would also be subject to replacement by new rental, but the rental share would be up to the local government.

Robinson said the changes respond to requests from local governments for stronger zoning tools to increase rental stock. In urban communities such as Metro Vancouver, the market produces mostly either single-family homes or compact condos for sale, she said.

“This will prevent rentals from being torn down so they can be redeveloped into luxury condos that only a few people can afford,” Robinson said. 

RELATED: Condo contract rules target property flippers

The province isn’t changing regulation of rent, but Robinson said increasing the rental supply is expected to stabilize rents that have soared in communities with near-zero rental vacancy rates.

Another legislative change requires local governments to collect data on housing types to use for land use planning. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said larger communities such as the Capital Regional District are already doing this, planning for 20 years out.

CRD plans indicate that the South Island region will need more than 34,000 additional rental units over the next 20 years, Helps said. Giving regions the authority to do the data collection and planning means smaller communities don’t have to do it on their own.

Helps said it is important for councils to work with the development industry on expanded rental construction, rather than imposing new quotas on them.

Just Posted

North Thompson Fall Fair Ambassadors crowned

Congratulations to the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association’s newly crowned… Continue reading

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

New Barriere Fire Chief appointed

Ashley Wohlgemuth first woman to serve as Fire Chief in Barriere

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Third overall in Canada for McLure, B.C. cowboy

McLure junior bull rider, Jake Bradley, finished third overall at the recent… Continue reading

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Most Read