B.C.’s innovative housing plan is a model for the rest of Canada to emulate

Globe editorial: B.C. drafted a bold housing blueprint. The rest of Canada should copy it

“Transforming Canada’s Housing Crisis: A Blueprint for Change”

The fight to alleviate the housing shortage has been an ongoing battle, with numerous good ideas surfacing but a lack of political will hindering progress. However, a game-changing proposal by an expert panel commissioned by Ontario Premier Doug Ford seemed to hold the key to solving the crisis. The blueprint, which included proposals for increased density and zoning reforms, promised to address the housing shortage at its core. Unfortunately, Mr. Ford chose to shelve the boldest proposals, leaving many to wonder if there would ever be meaningful change.

The Blueprint for Change: B.C.’s Transformative Housing Policy

The need for increased density and zoning reforms in response to the housing crisis had previously been a topic of debate, but the urgency of the pandemic-induced housing price surge brought these issues to the forefront of political discussions. The federal Liberal government and the winning British Columbia NDP government made promises to address the housing crisis by reforming zoning laws, but it was B.C. Premier David Eby who took the most significant steps towards implementing real change.

The NDP government in British Columbia made creating a blueprint for change a priority, turning the readily available good ideas into tangible legislation. Cities in B.C. were quickly instructed to loosen their zoning rules, allowing for multiple homes on a residential lot and significant density near transit hubs. The move is seen as a crucial step to addressing the housing crisis that has spiraled out of control in the province.

Challenges and Opportunities for Change

While the NDP’s actions in B.C. have set a precedent for housing reform, the path to change will not be without its challenges. The analysis suggests that most of the new housing will be built over the course of the next five years, with an estimated 216,000 more homes being constructed and the potential to reduce the price of buying or renting by roughly 9 per cent. The need for higher levels of government to act is clear as many cities remain resistant to change, and infrastructure challenges such as neglected sewers need to be addressed to ensure that new housing can be sustained.

The Rest of Canada: Following the Blueprint

The housing crisis first felt in B.C. and the subsequent actions taken to address it serve as a model for the rest of the country. With the federal government acknowledging the success of B.C.’s housing reforms and cities like Toronto looking to the blueprint for guidance, it’s clear that B.C.’s approach holds promise for transforming the housing crisis across the nation.

In conclusion, while change will take time and face challenges, B.C.’s transformative housing policy provides a roadmap for other provinces to follow. The urgency of the housing crisis demands political will and bold action, and it’s time for leaders across Canada to take inspiration from B.C.’s blueprint and work towards alleviating the housing shortage on a national scale.



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