UBCM Special Committee on Housing

UBCM has established a Special Committee on Housing to identify ways to make housing more affordable for people who live, work and contribute to BC’s communities. The Committee will consider potential federal and provincial actions and supports, in addition to opportunities for voluntary local government action, recognizing that local governments cannot tackle the housing crisis alone.

The Terms of Reference for the Committee identify four broad areas of focus:

  1. The Current Housing System: a review of key elements of the current housing system as a framework for identifying feasible solutions to the affordability crisis.
  2. Local Government Best Practices: the Special Committee will highlight actions that local governments are currently taking to increase affordability.
  3. Opportunities for Innovation: innovations that would give local governments additional options to support affordable housing.
  4. Provincial and Federal Roles: including opportunities presented by the National Housing Strategy, federal and provincial actions to address housing prices that lie outside local government jurisdiction, and supports (legislative, funding or policy) necessary to enable local government innovation.

Committee members are drawn from local governments across BC, and from other sectors involved in researching and identifying solutions to the affordability crisis.

The Committee held its first meeting on August 10th, and will hold further meetings monthly through to November. Upon completion of its work, the Committee’s findings and recommendations will be summarized in a report to UBCM Executive.

“The Special Committee will be taking a comprehensive look at the challenges across the full continuum of housing in all regions of the Province,” said UBCM President Murry Krause. "Housing needs have a different face in each community, so we are looking to develop a report that speaks to the diversity of challenges in BC communities.”

“To date, much of the analysis on housing has been focused on supply, and a simplistic notion that more supply will restore affordability,” said Mayor Greg Moore, Chair of the Special Committee. “We want to better understand all of the forces that are driving demand in the current market. Without a thorough understanding of demand, policies aimed at increasing affordability will likely be ineffective.”

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