Vaughn Palmer, the Vancouver Sun, April 18, 2022 (includes comments from BCNPHA CEO Jill Atkey)
When Victoria city council voted last week to speed up approval of non-market and affordable housing projects, Housing Minister David Eby fast-tracked his praise.
“A special thank you and recognition are due to Victoria’s mayor and city council for taking this important and meaningful step to accelerate approvals of affordable housing,” declared Eby, just after council’s unanimous vote Thursday evening. “Cities taking steps to speed up approvals for new public and affordable housing makes it easier, cheaper and faster for the province and the federal government to respond to the housing crisis by building the homes that are desperately needed.
“Having a partner at the municipal level who facilitates quick approvals helps get doors open sooner for people living in the streets and parks, and also for people who simply need a more affordable place closer to work.”
Eby’s endorsement was timely enough to be included in the news release Thursday, where the city announced Victoria had become “the first municipality in B.C. to approve a citywide accelerated process for qualifying affordable housing projects.”
The change means housing proposals from non-profits, co-ops or government will no longer have to undergo rezoning or public hearings, providing they’re consistent with Victoria’s official community plan.