Housing policy in British Columbia needs to change according to a new poll.

Three quarters of respondents told the Ipsos poll for the Urban Development Institute that municipalities need to approve a wider range of housing options within single-family neighbourhoods.

They believe that the lack of options is driving up home prices and rents.

Seven in 10 respondents also said that the housing approval process is too long and needs fixing.

“Municipalities can take as long as five years to approve a new rental proposal; and, it can take another two to three years to get permits and build. Just think of that: We have a rental crisis today but in some communities new homes for people won’t be move-in ready until 2027. The approval process is broken,” says UDI President and CEO Anne McMullin.

Governments have failed

Asked whether they had seen improvement in affordability in the past two years, 71% of respondents said they had not. A similar share said that the actions of government have not improved affordability.   

“British Columbians are demanding more home choices such as duplexes, triplexes, townhomes and apartments. We want to build them but all too often homebuilders are met with delays, relentless bureaucracy and a piling on of municipal and provincial taxes and fees,” said McMullin.

She added that lengthy reports and task forces will not solve the crisis in British Columbia’s housing.

The UDI will focus on five key areas in its advocacy:

  1. Build for a modern B.C.
  2. Build for transit
  3. Ensure fair taxation on new homes
  4. Get building faster
  5. Make rentals a reality

Key Poll Findings:

  • 75 per cent want municipalities to approve more housing options within single-family neighbourhoods
  • 74 per cent of British Columbians believe home prices and rents remain high because there are too fewhousing options
  • 71 per cent believe municipal housing approval processes are too long and need to be fixed
  • 74 per cent believe all additional taxes, fees and regulatory red tape have made housing less affordable
  • 71 per cent saw no increase in affordable housing choices (to rent or buy) over the past two years
  • 72 per cent don’t believe there has been an increase in affordable housing options over the past two years
  • 70 per cent believe the actions of governments (provincial & municipal) have not improved housingaffordability
  • 68 per cent said governments aren’t doing enough to encourage new rental home construction
  • 80 per cent want more housing options close to transit hubs
  • 58 per cent don’t believe municipalities are doing enough to encourage more diverse housing options

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