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Province to Speed Up Permitting To Build Houses, More Secondary Suites

Victoria – To help create more housing , the Province plans to speed up permitting and help to build more secondary suites for rent.

“People in our province deserve a decent place to live they can actually afford to rent or buy, but a chronic housing shortage and long permit approval times are frustrating that achievable goal,” said Premier David Eby.

The first action focuses on speeding up the permitting process through the launch of a one-stop shop that eliminates the need for multiple permitting applications across different ministries. The Single Housing Application Service (SHAS) will help deliver more homes faster by creating a simpler permitting application for homebuilders. The service will help clear permitting backlogs, while maintaining environmental standards. With the introduction of SHAS, the Province expects permit timelines to be reduced by two months.

The second initiative centres on secondary suites and comes ahead of planned legislation this fall to make secondary suites legal throughout the province, and a pilot incentive program to help homeowners build secondary suites.

To help homeowners navigate this process, the Province has launched a new comprehensive guide, titled Home Suite Home. The guide provides people with the information to prepare to build and manage a rental suite in British Columbia. This follows recent steps to make improvements at B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Branch, including more timely dispute resolutions.

The guide can be used as a resource for people preparing to access the Secondary Suite Incentive Program (SSIP). The pilot program, set to launch in early spring 2024, will provide approximately 3,000 homeowners with forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to create a new secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit on their property. The loans will only go to properties that will be rented below market rates. Additional eligibility requirements of the program have been made available so people interested can prepare ahead of the launch.

To read the Home Suite Home guide, visit:

To read the Homes for People action plan, visit:

For information about the Secondary Suite Incentive Program and to sign up for updates, visit:

Neil Moody, chief executive officer, Canadian Home Builders’ Association British Columbia

“CHBA BC is pleased to see the strides the provincial government is making to reduce the long-standing challenges and delays homebuilders face when navigating multiple ministries for permits. We are hopeful that the Single Housing Application Service will urgently facilitate more homes coming to market much faster, and our members look forward to continuing to work to with the B.C. government’s dedicated navigators to achieve that common goal.” 

David Hutniak, CEO, LandlordBC – 

“Secondary suites are an important source of long-term rental housing across British Columbia. This initiative by the Province will encourage homeowners with under-utilized space to create additional units of badly needed rental housing.”

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