Housing quotas are coming to Port Moody.
The city has been named among the first group of 10 municipalities that will have housing targets set by the province, according to a May 31 news release.
Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon said the targets authorized under the new Housing Supply Act will cut red tape and get homes built faster.
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“The housing crisis is hurting people and holding back our economy,” Kahlon said. “Our government is eager to work with this first cohort of municipalities to get shovels in the ground faster.”
The new legislation gives authority to the province to set housing targets on local governments, meant to encourage the removal of local barriers to construction, and the streamlining of zoning bylaws and development approval processes.
Other municipalities included in the first cohort include the cities of Abbotsford, Delta, Kamloops, Vancouver, Victoria; and the districts of North Vancouver, Oak Bay, Saanich and West Vancouver.
Final housing targets will be released over the summer, following consultations. Once the targets are set, progress will be monitored.
The municipalities were selected through an empirical index developed with economists and other experts, according to the province.
The index was based on the priority and urgency of local housing needs, affordability, availability of housing supply and land, and “unrealized potential,” the province said.
Port Moody Mayor Meghan Lahti said she welcomed the incoming housing targets.
“We recognize that there are opportunities to diversify our housing stock with affordable and seniors housing, as well as accessible and family-friendly units,” Lahti said. “We look forward to working with the province to set housing targets and help ensure the right kind of homes are being built here.”
The province said it will work with municipalities to remove any barriers, such as reviewing their development approval process, adding they are currently developing a new digital permitting process.
“Compliance options” are available to the province if the municipalities as a last resort do not build quickly enough.
Meeting the provincial targets could win the cities grants and funds for things like amenity expenditures; however, failure to meet the targets could lead to the province reversing municipal decisions.
The act even allows the province to rezone areas of the city to create more density.
Another group of eight to 10 municipalities will be hit with quotas by the end of 2023, the province said.
The new rules are part of the provincial government Homes for People action plan, which was released on April 3.
Some of other goals in the plan include facilitating development of more townhomes, duplexes and triplexes through zoning changes; forgivable loans to build and rent secondary suites below market rates; building homes near public transit and affordable housing on public land; strengthened enforcement on short term rentals; and a house flipping tax.
In 2022, the province took issue with the city over a possible reduction in allowable density around Moody SkyTrain station.