Home Business & Economy Housing Municipalities get provincial funding to help with housing growth process

Municipalities get provincial funding to help with housing growth process

For west shore municipalities, the funding boost is $1,389,222 (Langford, Colwood, Highlands, Metchosin, View Royal, Sooke).

homes for people, saanich, office
Provincial funding to municipalities is to help with the staffing and administration costs to bolster housing development. [Photo at the District of Saanich, Sept 26, 2023 | Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Wednesday January 17, 2024 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

The Province is supporting local governments to build more housing for people faster with funding to help them meet new provincial legislative requirements.

ravi kahlon, homes for people, fall session
Quick wrap-up for media about the housing legislation that has been passed this fall in the BC Legislative Assembly, Nov 30, 2023 in the upper rotunda. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

The grant amounts are based on a formula with two components: a flat funding amount and a per-capita amount. The funding formula includes a base amount of $150,000 for municipalities and $80,000 for regional districts, plus a per-capita amount based on the population projection from BC Stats.

“There is an urgent need for more homes for people, and we are working with local governments to build this housing faster,” said Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon in a news release today.

“With new housing actions to build homes in our communities, it is important that we support local governments to improve the processes to get the housing built that people in our community desperately need. By providing them with upfront funding, instead of distributing it over time, local governments will be able to support the building of more housing as quickly as possible.”

“The status quo on housing has not been working for too many people in BC,” said Kahlon in social media today. “That is why we made major reforms this past fall.”

district of sooke, coffee with mayor

Greater Victoria area support:

In the Greater Victoria area, so far Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich are on the provincial government’s list for developing a specific number of housing units, with a deadline of June 30, 2024 to have the plan in place.

The total support comes to $51 million, distributed by municipality and regional district.

  • These amounts will be issued to core area municipalities: Victoria  $582,582 | Saanich $712,442 | Oak Bay  $235,425 (combined $819,161) | Esquimalt: $235,583
  • In the fast-growing west shore, these amounts will be issued: Langford $379,457 | Colwood $244,842 | Highlands $161,726 | Metchosin $172,854 | View Royal $207,254 | Sooke $223,089 (combined $1,389,222)
  • The Capital Regional District will receive $252,492 (for areas including Juan de Fuca, East Sooke, Gulf Islands)

Funds will be issued starting January 18, 2024.

map, greater victoria, west shore
Island Social Trends reports on news of the Greater Victoria area as well as across BC.

West shore comment:

Local MLA Ravi Parmar said in social media today that the funding “will help these local governments become faster, and hopefully more efficient in their development processes”.

soil quality, workshop, langford, 2024

Suite of legislation passed in 2023:

The Province recently passed a series of legislation aimed at creating more housing, such as transit-oriented development and small-scale, multi-unit housing.

monk office, discount

Starting Jan. 18, 2024, the Province will provide $51 million in grant-based funding from Budget 2023 to all municipalities, regional districts and the Islands Trust – a total of 188 local governments – in British Columbia. This funding is intended to support local governments to meet the new legislated requirements.

Recognizing that local governments need immediate support to fulfil the requirements, the Province is providing this funding up front to help them undertake the necessary work. Local governments can use this funding to update housing needs reports, zoning bylaws, development cost charge and amenity cost charge bylaws, and community plans by hiring consultants and staff, and to do research and community engagement, as part of the transition to improve the development approvals process. This funding will be especially beneficial for smaller local governments that may have fewer resources to make changes.

This funding is part of the historic $19-billion housing investment by government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 77,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway.

mitzi dean, mla, constituency, ad

Additional funding:

In addition to the $51 million, the Province has provided a further investment of $10 million for a second intake for the Local Government Development Approvals Program (LGDAP), an application-based grant fund managed by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities that launched in 2021.

LGDAP grants support local government-initiated projects to implement best practices and test innovative approaches to improve their development approval processes. Applications for this funding opened Jan. 1, 2024. Successful recipients may be announced in spring 2024.

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Island Social Trends reports news with socioeconomic insights and analysis. Independent news service on south Vancouver Island, BC.


Island Social Trends covers news through a socioeconomic lens — providing insights on stuff that matters to households, communities and society.

mary p brooke, editor, island social trends, 2018
Mary P Brooke, Editor & Publisher, Island Social Trends

News is posted daily online at IslandSocialTrends.ca as part of the Island Social Trends commitment to making news available freely accessible to everyone in society.

Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has been covering news of the west shore since 2008 (MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, West Shore Voice News 2014-2020), with more of a focus on provincial news since 2017. After covering the daily COVID news conferences in 2020 to 2022, Ms Brooke has been reporting with the BC Legislative Press Gallery. In 2023 she was nominated for a Jack Webster Foundation award for contributing to her community through journalism.

Ms Brooke ran for school trustee in SD62 in 2022. In 2024 she has launched an urban food resilience organization to help guide food-growing projects in municipalities and local neighbourhoods.