The B.C. government is introducing legislation that would allow municipalities to create rental-only zoning.
The bill would mean local governments will have the control over how many rental homes are needed on a land that is to be developed.
Local governments could also use the bill to make sure existing rentals are not redeveloped for another use.
“There is a shortage of rental homes in British Columbia,” said Housing Minister Selina Robinson. “The steps we are taking today will both help local governments track the needs of their communities and give them a powerful tool to deliver homes people can afford in the communities where they work, go to school and raise their families.”
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says the bill is a welcomed tool because estimates show Greater Victoria will need 34,000 more rental housing units by 2038.
“We’ve enabled everything we can at the city with the tools that we have and still we have a crisis. The ability for local government to zone areas for rental housing is significant and important.”
The proposed bill would:
* Give local governments the authority to limit tenure to rental through the use of a new rental zoning tool.
* For example, undeveloped land that is zoned for rental would need to be developed with rental projects. The amount of rental housing that needs to be developed on that land will be at the discretion of the local government.
* Allow local governments to ensure existing rentals cannot be redeveloped for another use.
* For example, if an existing rental building is being considered for redevelopment, and a local government has zoned the building as rental, the new building must be rental to the extent determined by the local government.
* Where applied, enable developers to know in advance that the permitted tenure will be rental, and if applicable, what portion of a development is required to be rental.
* For example, local governments may require that 40% of the units in new multi-family residential buildings in a certain zone be rental.
The government also put forward bills to crack down on tax evasion for condo presales.