Potential Housing Targets: Exploring the Implications of BC’s Proposed Goals for the District of Squamish
The Province may provide housing targets to the District, enabling more homes in Squamish. A recent report by the district notes more than 6,000 homes are needed in Squamish in the next 8 years.
Recently, Bindi Sawchuk, the Assistant Deputy Minister for Housing and Land Use Policy, wrote to Squamish CAO Linda Glenday, informing her that Squamish was as a municipality in the Housing Supply Regulation. “It has been identified as a specified municipality in the Housing Supply Regulation, but has not been selected as part of the first cohort; however, it may be subject to a housing target assessment as part of a future cohort,” Bindi wrote.
BC Legislative Assembly passed the Housing Supply Act in November last year and bought it into force last month. The Housing Supply Act gives Province the authority to set housing targets in municipalities. The following municipalities were selected in May 2023: City of Abbotsford, City of Delta, City of Kamloops, District North Vancouver, District of Oak Bay, City of Port Moody, District of Saanich, City of Vancouver, City of Victoria and the District of West Vancouver.
BC said the policy will be implemented in phases, with cohorts of 8-10 municipalities given housing targets every six to eight months. Once targets are set, Province will monitor progress and help local governments speed up approval processes to meet the targets. The act also enables compliance if the municipalities struggle to create more housing in their communities. Province named 10 municipalties but has yet to provide specific housing targets to them.
A second group of eight to 10 municipalities will be selected in late 2023, and it is likely that BC will include District of Squamish, essentially forcing it to allow the building of more homes in Squamish. In an interview with the Squamish Reporter, Mayor Armand Hurford and Planner Matt Gun spoke about housing issues in the community.