Creston Housing Hub

Provincial Initiatives

Homes for People

The Homes for People initiative aims to speed up the delivery of new homes, increase the supply of middle-income housing, and help those who need it the most.

The initiative aims to reduce development costs, unlock more homes faster, and deliver more housing that people can afford to rent or buy. It also focuses on targeted types of housing and protects renters.

The Homes for People Action Plan has 4 pillars:

Unlocking more homes, faster

• More small scale, multi-unit housing (townhomes, duplexes and triplexes)
• Make it easier and more affordable for people to rent out secondary/basement suites
• Work with municipalities to make sure more homes are built in communities, faster
• Speed up permitting and approvals to get homes built faster
• Become a North American leader in digital permitting
• Deliver more homes and services near transit
• Launch BC Builds – A new program dedicated to delivering homes for middle-income people
• Expand B.C.’s construction workforce and spur innovation
• Explore new ways to get more rentals built
• Build more homes with mass timber

Supporting those with the greatest housing need

• New income tested renter’s tax credit
• More homes to support people experiencing homelessness
• New actions to close encampments
• Partner to redevelop and replace single room occupancy units in DTES
• Revitalize and expand aging BC Housing properties
• More Rent Bank support

Delivering better, more affordable homes

• Thousands more social housing units
• Deliver 4,000 additional on-campus rooms for post-secondary students
• End discriminatory age and rental restrictions in stratas
• Protect affordable rental units through $500 million fund
• Create more housing through partnerships with Indigenous communities
• Revitalize co-op housing

Creating a housing market for people, not speculators

• Implement a “Flipping Tax”
• Stricter enforcement on short-term rentals
• Solve renter/landlord disputes faster and get tougher on bad-faith evictions
• Turn more empty units into homes by expanding the Speculation and Vacancy Tax to additional areas
• Crack down on criminal activity in real estate
• Offer more protections for renters displaced by redevelopment

In 2019 the Provincial government released ‘DAPR’ – a Development Approvals Process Review. 

DAPR aimed to address challenges and find improvement opportunities in development approvals to support local governments in providing affordable housing.

The key challenges and opportunities identified were grouped into six main categories:

  1. Local government application processes.
  2. Local government approval processes.
  3. Development finance tools.
  4. Subdivision.
  5. Provincial referrals and regulatory requirements.
  6. Overarching themes for process improvement.

To address lengthy application processes the Province has developed a single application portal for provincial natural resource permits. Visit Permit Connect BC for more information.

Other initiatives include:

Introduction of New Legislation: The Province introduced legislation to reduce construction delays and streamline funding processes for services, infrastructure, and amenities in growing communities.

Bill 44 and Upfront Zoning: The legislation, if passed, will implement Bill 44, enabling upfront zoning to increase housing supply and reduce current rezoning processes in B.C. High-growth municipalities negotiate amenities funding with homebuilders during rezoning, causing construction delays and additional costs.

Amenity Cost Charge (ACC): The proposed legislation introduces ACC for high-growth communities, streamlining the planning process and clarifying costs upfront.

Urban Development Institute (UDI) Support: UDI supports the legislation for making development charges more transparent and predictable.

Changes to Development Cost Charges and Levies: The legislation allows local governments to use funds from homebuilders for core infrastructure, and new additions like fire protection, police facilities, and solid waste facilities.

Funding for Provincial Highway Projects: Development cost charges can be used for highway projects benefiting new housing projects, reducing reliance on property taxes.

  • Effective November 24, 2022, strata corporations in B.C. may only have an age-restriction bylaw for an age that is not less than 55 years with exemptions for some caregivers and residents previously residing. 

  • As of November 24, 2022, no strata corporation or section is allowed to have a residential rental-restriction bylaw. All strata rental-restriction bylaws are invalid. (Note: no strata bylaw changes are required as provincial legislation changed). Short-term rental strata bylaws are allowed and a strata corporation or section may have, or create, a bylaw banning or limiting short-term rentals.

A recent article released by the Province speaks to a number of measures the Province will be implementing to assist municipalities in addressing short term rentals.

These measures include:

Increasing Fines and Tools for Local Governments:

  • Raise fines for operators who breach local rules.
  • Mandate short-term rental platforms to share data with the Province who will in turn share that information with municipalities to aid with enforcement
  • Require online short-term rental listings to display business license numbers.
  • Empower regional districts to issue business licenses for rural areas.

Transitioning Short-term Rentals to Long-term Homes:

  • Limit short-term rentals in municipalities with populations over 10,000 to the host’s primary residence (with an exception for one secondary suite or laneway home on the property).
  • Define regions and municipalities exempt from the primary residence requirement.
  • Abolish legal protections that investors use to bypass local regulations on short-term rentals.

Establishing Provincial Rules and Enforcement:

  • Initiate a provincial host and platform registry.
  • Launch a provincial short-term rental compliance and enforcement unit.

Exemptions and Clarifications:

  • Small communities and tourist-heavy areas can choose to adopt the primary residence requirements based on local housing pressures.
  • Communities on First Nations reserve land and Modern Treaty Nations are exempt but can opt into the legislation.
  • The legislation doesn’t apply to hotels, motels, timeshares, and fishing lodges.


  • Phased approach over two years.
    Immediate changes include increased fines and new business licensing authority.
  • Principal residence requirement and changes to legal protections start May 1, 2024.
  • Data sharing begins Summer 2024.
    Provincial registry launches in Late 2024.

In addition to the Provincial measures, beginning on January 1, 2024, the Federal Government intends to:

  • Deny income tax deductions for expenses incurred to earn Short term rental income, including interest expenses, in provinces and municipalities that have prohibited Short term rentals.
  • Deny income tax deductions when Short term rental operators are not compliant with the applicable provincial or municipal licensing, permitting, or registration requirements.
  • Support municipalities that are cracking down on non-compliant short-term rentals. The 2023 Fall Economic Statement proposes $50 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to support municipal enforcement of restrictions on Short term rentals. This will support municipalities with strict regulatory regimes that are having a significant and measurable impact in returning Short term rentals back to the long-term housing market.

Summary of Provincial Housing Legislation:

  • New legislation mandates increased density in areas zoned for single-family use.
  • Changes in housing needs reporting and public hearing requirements.
  • Requirement for more frequent updating of Official Community Plans (OCPs).
  • Pre-zoning to accommodate a 20-year housing supply.

Legislation Overview:

  • Bill 44: Key components include increased density zoning and new community planning requirements.

Secondary Suites and ‘Small-Scale Multi-Unit’ (SSMU) Housing:

  • Local governments must permit one secondary suite or laneway home in all single-family residential zones.
  • By June 30, 2024, zoning bylaws to permit triplexes and townhomes in municipalities over 5000.
  • Lot size dictates the number of allowable units (three to six units).
  • Provisions for municipalities to allow more density than provincial requirements.
  • Exemptions for SSMU include certain protected lands and non-serviceable lots.

Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Framework Changes:

  • Local governments must update their Housing Needs Report (HNR) using a standardized methodology to estimate housing needs over a 20-year horizon.
  • OCPs and zoning bylaws must be updated every 5 years.
  • Public hearings for rezonings consistent with OCPs are prohibited if certain conditions are met.
  • Possibility of exemption from OCP and HNR requirements for some governments.

Union of BC Municipalities’ (UBCM) members have requested from the Province:

  • Expand the tools for local governments to request road dedications, statutory-rights-of-way, and infrastructure servicing upgrades through the development permit and/or building permit process.
  • Provide a legislative framework for amenity contributions, tenant relocation requirements, and other requirements to be applied at the development permit or building permit phase rather than being tied to rezonings.

Future Prospects:

  • Significant changes to the local planning framework.
  • Introduction of housing targets under the Housing Supply Act.
  • Funding of $51 million for local government implementation of changes.

BC Builds is a housing program, delivered by BC Housing, to speed up the development of new homes for middle-income working people throughout British Columbia.

BC Builds uses low-cost land, low-interest financing, grants, and speeds up project timelines to reduce how long it takes to get a building from concept to construction.

Once complete, BC Builds homes have a target of middle-income households spending approximately no more than 30% of their income on rent. Additionally, at least 20% of units will have rents that are at least 20% below market rate for projects in partnership with non-profits and First Nations.

See HERE to find out more.