B.C. launches 'one-stop shop' for provincial permits needed to build homes

BC launches 'one-stop shop'

British Columbia's government is aiming to speed up the construction of new homes and secondary suites by releasing new guides and programs to help streamline the process.

Premier David Eby says the new Single Housing Application Service, first promised in January, gives builders a clear understanding of the provincial permits needed to build a house so they don't have to navigate the "maze of the provincial government" on their own.

While much of construction permitting falls on municipal governments, provincial permits include those related to ground contamination, archeology and development near wetlands and rivers.

Nathan Cullen, the minister of water, land and resource stewardship, says the aim is to create a "one-stop shop" with expert "navigators" to guide homebuilders through provincial permitting and help streamline the process

The province also launched a new guide detailing how to become a landlord, which Eby says will help people prepare ahead of a new funding program expected to be unveiled this spring.

As part of its housing plan announced previously, the government is promising to give approximately 3,000 homeowners forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to create secondary suites, provided they rent them out for below market rate.

"'I'm really excited about these announcements. It's not the full answer, it's not the silver bullet. We have to go at this issue of housing from so many different angles and that's what we're doing," Eby said.

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