Housing

In August 2016, UBCM 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 considered 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 Committee met monthly from August 2017 to January 2018 and released its final report A Home for Everyone: A Housing Strategy for British Columbians [PDF - 3.8 MB] on February 1, 2018.

The report contains 32 recommendations structured around four policy shifts:

  1. A Rental Housing Strategy to help address a deficit in rental housing built up through decades of policy priority on homeownership.
  2. A Demand Management Strategy with taxation measures to stabilize prices and restore affordability.
  3. A Comprehensive Homeless Strategy to substantially reduce the number of people who are homeless.
  4. An All Government Approach towards Housing Affordability, through which all orders of government collaborate at a community level to bring about community appropriate change.

A summary of recommendations [PDF - 209 KB] is also available. 

Current Issues and Correspondence

Report of the Joint UBCM-Province Advisory Group on Short Term Rentals

The Province’s Rental Housing Task Force recommended in December 2018 that the Province work with local governments to develop, implement, and enforce short-term rental rules to better protect long-term rental stock. In the May 2019 response to the Task Force recommendations, the Province agreed to address this recommendation through further consultation with stakeholders and local governments. In fall 2019 the Province and UBCM established a Joint Advisory Group on Short-Term Rentals.  

UBCM Submission to the Expert Panel on Housing Supply and Affordability

In the spring of 2020, an Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability was  tasked with making recommendations to the Governments of B.C. and Canada. UBCM prepared a submission [PDF - 354 KB] based on the 2018 housing report and related policy.

Federal and Provincial Policy

The Federal Government unveiled its National Housing Strategy  on National Housing Day, November 22, 2017. The strategy is primarily geared towards low income households, and includes a National Housing Co-Investment Fund, a new rental benefit, community housing initiatives, and an expanded homelessness program.  

On February 20, 2018, the Province released its 30-point Homes for B.C. Plan. This plan proposes measures to stabilize housing prices, crack down on tax fraud, build affordable housing, improve security for renters, and build partnerships. As a whole, the plan  addresses many of the recommendations identified in UBCM's report.

UBCM will continue to monitor implementation of both the Province's plan and the National Housing Strategy, and to advocate on behalf of members.

Resources

UBCM National Housing Strategy Submission [PDF - 227 KB]

Presentations from 2017 Convention Sessions:

Articles:

UBCM Housing Policy and Advocacy 

 

Provincial Initiatives

 

 Federal Initiatives

2018 Convention Study Session - September 10

Contact

Josh van Loon
Senior Policy Analyst
jvanloon@ubcm.ca
604-270-8226 ext. 113