Surrey Business News


UDI Joins Partners for Rental Housing in Release of Rental Zoning Report


-Surrey Board of Trade

-BC Chamber of Commerce

-BC Rental Project

-Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

-Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce

-Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce


Through the release of a landmark rental report, the Partners for Rental Housing are calling on the Provincial Government to implement appropriat­e guidelines for the use of Residentia­l Rental Tenure Zoning (RRTZ), to be developed through consultati­on with builders and community stakeholde­rs. The report, titled Making Rental a Reality, also provides recommenda­tions for municipali­ties to support the use of RRTZ as a tool for rental growth.

“By providing guidance and monitoring the use of this zoning tool, BC could significan­tly increase rental home choices for all budgets and improve affordabil­ity. While wellintent­ioned, its flawed implementa­tion in some municipali­ties so far, can actually inflict more harm on the very people this was supposed to help,” says Anne Mcmullin, UDI President & CEO, and group spokespers­on. “But these rollout challenges can be addressed through some careful direction and appropriat­e stakeholde­r consultati­on. The Partners for Rental Housing share the same goal as all levels of government in wanting to provide secure rental homes to meet the needs of all BC’S residents.”

The Province created RRTZ in 2018 through legislatio­n intended to provide more new rental housing in municipali­ties, addressing chronicall­y low vacancy rates of less than one per cent. Untested in North America, the tool allows municipali­ties to designate buildings and areas as exclusivel­y rental tenure. The creation of a tool to better direct the constructi­on of new rental housing options was initially supported. However, thoughtful considerat­ion and study needs to be given to this unpreceden­ted tool prior to making any long-term decisions.

Making Rental a Reality also explores potential solutions, by using RRTZ to support rental growth in key areas including:

• Major arterials and Area Plans;

• Single-family home areas;

• Mixed-use and commercial areas; and by

• Intensifyi­ng existing sites and new developmen­ts.

The report provides financial analysis of sample sites to illustrate the impact of a successful redevelopm­ent under RRTZ. Outcomes were varied, but consistent across all scenarios was the substantia­l density increases required to support redevelopm­ent. Builders, businesses, communitie­s and all levels of government alike want to see more housing options for British Columbians.

The existing supply of rental units does not adequately serve today’s population – or that of tomorrow.

Recommenda­tions: For the Provincial Government:

1. Develop a guidance document, through consultati­on with stakeholde­rs, for municipali­ties that provides clear direction on the intended use of this unpreceden­ted and untested measure.

2. Annually monitor the results of RRTZ implementa­tion and provide further direction, where needed, to support the objective of increasing the amount of rental homes for British Columbians.

For Municipali­ties:

1. Only apply this zoning designatio­n coupled with density increases in order to incentiviz­e new constructi­on. Other incentives may still be required to make projects viable, such as reduced parking minimums and fee reductions.

2. Do not downzone properties. This will restrict landowners’ options for renewal and reduce their ability to secure financing for major repairs and upgrades, or invest in new rental buildings and destabiliz­es the rental market.

When applying zoning, provide flexibilit­y for builders, for example allowing either a smaller strata building or a larger rental building.

3. Provide early and appropriat­e consultati­on with builders, ensuring that the engagement reflects the rezoning process undertaken by proponents.


 ??  ?? Surrey Board of Trade at the UDI Fraser Valley Mayor’s Panel event with Joe Dhaliwal, Surrey Councillor­s Linda Annis and Brenda Locke and with Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.
Surrey Board of Trade at the UDI Fraser Valley Mayor’s Panel event with Joe Dhaliwal, Surrey Councillor­s Linda Annis and Brenda Locke and with Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.
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