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Province introduces three actions to help with housing accessibility

The B.C. government is introducing new laws they say will build more homes, create more rentals and remove discriminatory rental restrictions for young families.

If passed, the province will have the power to set housing targets in municipalities with the greatest need and highest projected growth.

B.C. government officials said housing targets will encourage municipalities to address local construction barriers, including updating zoning bylaws and streamlining local development approval processes.

The targets will be determined through housing needs reports done every five years.

Provincial officials said they will be working with municipalities and monitoring their progress, but compliance options will be used as a last resort if a city struggles to keep up with demand.

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The province will be starting with eight to 10 municipalities but they did not elaborate on which ones.

Amendments are also being made to the strata property act to end all strata rental-restriction bylaws and limit age-restriction bylaws.

The only age restriction that will be allowed to remain is 55 and over seniors housing.

They said some buildings currently have 19 plus only restrictions that would force young couples out of their home if they had a baby.

Provincial officials said there are also approximately 2,900 empty condos that can’t be rented because strata rules are preventing it.

The amendment will let owners rent out these condo units immediately.

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“Rules that prevent families with children from living in a home or prevent people from renting the unit they own are no longer acceptable in our current housing market,” said Murray Rankin, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing in a release.

“These amendments will open up more rental and homeownership options for people at a time when they’re needed the most.”

Bylaws restricting short-term rentals, such as AirBnBs will still be allowed.

Story by Josiah Spyker, MyEastKootenayNow

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