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Housing minister gives outline of new legislation to tackle B.C. housing crisis

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says the province will be tabling more than 12 new pieces of legislation this fall in an attempt to tackle B.C.'s housing crisis.

He says high interest rates, a surge in population and the effects of the pandemic have contributed to the province's lack of housing supply, which is continuing to drive up prices for buyers and renters alike.

Kahlon has alluded to targeting short-term rentals as one piece of the forthcoming legislation, but has so far been tight-lipped on specifics.

Asked about the issue again Friday, he also declined to give details.

"Short-term rental homes in B.C. are diverting too much long-term rental housing off the market," said Kahlon at a news conference in Saanich.

"We've heard from local governments and from various studies that have been done that they're taking away rental housing people desperately need and driving up rents and the proposed legislation that we're bringing will make it easier for local governments to ensure that short-term rental platform folks play by the rules."

The minister did not provide details on how the province would help municipalities with enforcement but did say there would be an increase to the maximum fine of $1,000 to short-term rental hosts who violate the rules. He did not, however, say how much the increase would be.

The province also plans to focus on altering zoning laws, an issue addressed by Vancouver City Council earlier this month.

"That will enable small-scale multi-unit homes like duplexes, triplexes and townhomes to be built on land currently zoned for single-family detached homes," said Kahlon.

Kahlon says other proposed legislation involves speeding up permitting at the municipal and provincial level, and allowing basement and secondary suites in every B.C. community. Details of those plans were released earlier this month. Top Stories

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