Thursday, September 28, 2023

Province of BC sets housing targets for ten communities, 10 more to be announced this fall

The Provincial Government's push towards creating housing across British Columbia gained some momentum this week as Housing Minister Ravi Khalon outlined the target numbers for the first ten communities on the provincial radar towards delivering on home construction.

The communities selected as part of the province's Housing Supply Act have five years to meet the government's expectations, towards that goal the province has reduces some of the bureaucracy of housing and announced funding towards housing initiatives.

The program is one that the Housing minister notes is part of a partnership between provincial and musical governments.

“The housing crisis is hurting people, holding back our economy and impacting the services we all count on. We’re taking action and working with municipal partners to make sure more homes are built in communities with the greatest housing need. The targets include thousands of below-market rental units for the largest and fastest-growing communities. This means more people will be able find a home in the community they love.” -- Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing

Municipalities will be evaluated after six months, and every year thereafter, on their progress toward achieving the housing targets and actions taken to meet the target. The Province will monitor progress and work with municipalities to better understand challenges and opportunities.

The full statement on the  housing expectations can be reviewed here.

Minister Khalon noted that another ten communities will be added to the provincial list later this fall.

Whether Prince Rupert is listed in the next listing of communities under the watchful eye of the province seems unlikely, with many larger communities still trying to come to a solution for their housing situation.

So, that would give Prince Rupert council some time to hopefully see some of their recent initiative show some progress.

The work road leading down to the Lax Kw'alaams 
apartment project on 11th East, for now, it's the only significant progress to
be seen towards much needed housing in the community

When it comes to housing development in the Prince Rupert area so far, only those projects led by First Nations have shown any tangible in the ground progress.

On the east side, the Lax Kw'alaams Band is continuing its site development for their apartment complex off of 11th Avenue East, while over on Kootenay Avenue, the Gitxaala Nation recently announced its plans for development of some housing.

Both projects are destined for the use of their membership.

There are a number of other housing proposals that have been put on the to do list, from the still stalled BC Housing plans for McKay Street, to a civic led initiative on Hays Cove Avenue at Frederick.

There haven't been any updates on either of those housing proposals in fair bit of time now.

Likewise, highly anticipated housing plans for Third Avenue West, Drake Crescent and the Seal Cove area to name a few all seem to have faded from view,  with little indication that any shovels are destined to move any dirt in the short term.

Should there continue to be a lack of progress when it comes to having foundations put in place, there may come a time when Prince Rupert makes it onto the provincial radar for housing targets.

More notes from the Legislature can be reviewed here.

Our look at housing in Prince Rupert can be explored here.

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