THE Province announced on Tuesday that it is introducing legislative amendments through the Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act to help deliver more homes faster for people in Vancouver.
“We are taking legislative action to avoid further delays for the creation of much-needed homes in this Province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Too many people are sheltering outside. We know it is not safe and we are helping to create badly needed supportive housing in Vancouver. These amendments, if passed, will ensure the City of Vancouver can approve homes for people without delay.”
In July 2022, Vancouver city council approved, in principle, a rezoning bylaw to allow an urgently needed 129-unit mixed supportive housing and affordable housing development, known as the Arbutus Project, at 2086 and 2098 West 7th Avenue and 2091 West 8th Avenue. This approval followed a public-hearing process that invited local residents and other interested participants to comment on the proposed development. The adoption of the rezoning bylaw has been delayed due to legal action by opponents of the project.
The Province is making the changes to the act as a direct response to a request from the City of Vancouver for legislative intervention to allow the Arbutus Project to move forward as soon as possible. With this legislative intervention, construction could begin in early 2024.
“We are thankful for the ongoing support from senior government partners to expedite the delivery of much-needed affordable housing in the city. This project will deliver 129 studio homes and make a huge difference in the lives of people in the community,” said Ken Sim, Mayor of Vancouver. “We look forward to continuing conversations and working with the community via the neighbourhood Community Advisory Committee as the project progresses.”
In addition to these proposed legislative changes, the government has recently announced Belonging in BC, a plan to prevent and reduce homelessness. The plan will add 3,900 new supportive housing units provincewide, with 1,400 supportive housing units complete and 900 underway in Vancouver.