The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to slow new home construction in North Cowichan during 2020, but not by much.

Mayor Al Siebring says in 2019 they had a better than the average growth rate of about 1.8 percent in new home construction.

However, after a strong start for permit applications earlier in the year, Siebring says the pandemic will likely return 2020 to more normal levels.

“We’re expecting that things will slow down for the balance of this year, we may end up at around the one percent growth rate.”

Siebring says there are still permit applications coming in, but not as quickly as they were.

Meanwhile, North Cowichan council is moving ahead with budget planning for next year.

He says the municipality will proceed cautiously with capital projects that had to cancelled.

“We’re going do a gradual phased recovery approach where we take what we didn’t do this year and we gradually reinsert it in the next 3 or 4 years.”

Siebring says they halted about seven-hundred thousand dollars of capital projects this year and trying to do that work next year could push property taxes much higher.