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6 months in, Vancouver hits only 30% of annual housing target

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A report by city staff has found that Vancouver is falling short of meeting a housing target set by the provincial government.

The report shows that from Oct. 1, 2023 to the end of March 2024, Vancouver completed 1,607 net new units. The target for year one is 5,202.

In September, the province announced targets for 10 communities across B.C. which found themselves on a so-called “naughty list” last year. 

ABC Coun. Lisa Dominato pointed to rising interest rates, construction costs and labour for the city reaching only thirty per cent of its goal halfway through year one.

“Certainly, we’ve seen a bit of a slowdown in the market,” she said.

Ron Rapp, the CEO of the Home Builders Association of Vancouver, said he was disappointed to see the city fall short, but not surprised.

Rapp said some industry members are still facing lengthy wait times when it comes to development approvals and permits. Despite that, he added he’s hopeful momentum will build.

“We’re not seeing the fruits of some of the initiatives that have been proposed over the course of the past 12 months," Rapp said.

According to the report, there has been a decline in completions over the last two years from 2022 to 2024.

“Despite lower than anticipated completions, there is an unprecedented volume of projects instream, with enough capacity in our current development pipeline to meet the province’s overall completions target over the five-year time frame,” it says.

By 2028, the province is expecting Vancouver to build 28,900 new housing units. While the report seems optimistic that can be done, one advocacy group has serious doubts.

“I am not confident the city is going to meet its housing targets in the future,” said Peter Waldkirch, with Abundant Housing Vancouver.

Coun. Dominato contests this, anticipating the city will surpass the targets.

“We have roughly 31,000 units, currently in the development pipeline of which 8,000 are currently under construction,” she said.

Under the Housing Supply Act, municipalities are required to submit regular reports on the progress towards housing targets. This is the first such report to come our of Vancouver.

The province previously stated it could appoint an independent party to step in and identify problems if a community is lagging behind.

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