BC Municipal Elections: Local Governments Need to Address Housing Affordability

Oct 14, 2022

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British Columbia Real Estate Association

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As British Columbians head to the polls on October 15, BCREA is pleased to share the top housing affordability solutions that should be the policy focus of candidates running for office across the province.

Local Government’s Role in Addressing Housing Affordability
Local governments have many policy and planning tools they can use to address housing affordability in their communities, such as the Housing Needs Report.

As of April 2019, local governments are required to produce housing needs reports every five years. These reports provide an evidential basis for addressing housing needs tailored to individual communities. To find your community’s housing needs report here or visit your local government website.

Discerning how candidates plan to leverage these policy and planning tools for housing can help you compare different housing platforms. Understanding the housing needs in your community and learning more about your local candidates’ housing policy platforms can help you make an informed decision in this election.

Solutions to Improving Housing Affordability
BC needs more housing supply. While barriers to increased supply vary across the province, the evidence shows that local and provincial governments need to do more to increase housing supply more quickly.

British Columbians require more types of housing in more places (duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and other Missing Middle housing types). This demand is demonstrated in many of the province’s housing needs reports.

The housing approval process also needs to be improved. Strengthening the Official Community Plan’s zoning powers and utilizing public consultation appropriately can streamline the approvals process.

Make Your Voice Heard – Get Out and Vote!
Elections BC maintains a list of candidates running for office across the province. Your local government website contains information about how, when, and where to vote, as well as more details about the candidates running for office in your community.

The struggle for affordable housing is province-wide and local elected officials play a crucial role in addressing this issue. Voting is our most important civic duty. We hope you consider these issues as you cast your vote on October 15.    

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