Saturday, May 18, 2024

Vancouver Island holds 8 of the 20 communities deemed to have ‘greatest need’ for housing


The BC government has released the next round of communities they have determined to have the greatest need for accelerated housing development. 

Eight of the 20 communities on this list are on Vancouver Island. 

These communities include Central Saanich, Colwood, Esquimalt, Nanaimo, North Cowichan, North Saanich, Sidney and View Royal.

They have been named because they are not building housing fast enough, according to criteria set out by the Province. 

Going forward, they will be assigned housing targets from the BC government over the next five years and pressure will be put on them to reach them, or else the Province will step in and take action in their stead. 

“We are addressing the housing crisis with our municipal partners so thousands more affordable homes can be built for people who need them,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing.

“Our goal for the next 20 communities is to build on the work they are already doing, while they continue to implement the recent provincial legislative changes. This group includes communities that are doing well on housing and some that need to do more.”

This initiative is a result of the Province passing the Housing Supply Act in 2023. In total, 30 BC communities have now been named and given housing targets they are expected to reach. 

The remaining 12 communities also named by the Province are:

  • Chilliwack
  • Kelowna
  • City of Langley
  • Maple Ridge
  • Mission
  • New Westminster
  • City of North Vancouver
  • Port Coquitlam
  • Prince George
  • Surrey
  • West Kelowna
  • White Rock

The housing targets these 20 communities must reach over the next five years will be announced this summer. 

Developer’s take on the newly named communities

In response to the newly named communities who the Province has outed, Garry Fawley, CEO of Denciti Development Corp. has released a statement on Esquimalt’s inclusion and some of their initiatives in that municipality. 

“Esquimalt’s inclusion on the housing target list recognizes both the need and the potential we see there,” said Fawley. 

“We already see a commitment to Esquimalt’s growth plans, demonstrated by the forward-thinking city council that has shown leadership in providing housing to their community.”

At the moment, Denciti has 260 new homes for Esquimalt in development at Esquimalt Terrace, which is currently under construction, as well as an upcoming project that will be located at 1000 Craigflower Road; that project was just recently approved by Esquimalt on April 22nd. 

“To meet targets in all the listed municipalities, there needs to be a collaborative effort from all levels of government and the private sector,” Fawley explained.  

“While these targets are one piece of the puzzle, the focus must include practical strategies for achieving them.” 

He continued by saying that zoning bylaws must be modernized and approval processes must be streamlined in order to bolster the construction sector.

Curtis Blandy

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