As summer closes in, Ron has taken a few days to catch up with family in cottage country and scour the streets of Toronto, as seen in this shot below taken from “Graffiti Alley,” the location where Rick Mercer did his “rant.” Always working, always passionate, Ron will return to his post next week, with the MMB publishing Ron’s Rant on Monday, September 11th, after the Labour Day weekend break.
Also of note, next week will see 312 golfers and 400 banquet guests at the 25th annual Fall Classic Golf Tournament. Brought to you by HAVAN’s Suppliers Council, with Presenting Sponsor BAKA Communications, in addition to creating some epic networking and fun on the course, the Fall Classic generates funds through the SILENT AUCTION in support of HAVAN’s BCIT Scholarship Fund, supported in part by Centra Cares. This year, we are set to tip the $100,000 mark in total scholarships to the School of Construction and the Environment. The SILENT AUCTION is open to all residents of BC, so please share with your co-workers, family and friends. Let’s make some noise!
HAVAN continues to work with CHBA BC and CHBA to advocate for all levels of government to work together to address the challenges of the housing industry including zoning restrictions, density limits, and NIMBYism.
Looking to stay up-to-date on Metro Vancouver’s residential housing industry? Sign up for Ron’s weekly Monday Morning Briefing and other HAVAN emails here.
QUICK BITES …
• Renovations: The CRA has clarified the rules for its new home renovation tax credit: Main home and secondary unit for a relative can be built at same time and still qualify for $7,500 credit
• In recent months, there have been a number of renewed calls for the Government of Canada to remove its Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the cost of building secured purpose-built rental housing, with Michael Geller noting it would be a “game changer” by removing a “big upfront cost.”
• How to bridge the housing affordability gap for a generation without a home? It’s a big topic of concern for the new federal cabinet that gathered last week in PEI for their summer retreat.
• In an interesting article from Siteline Institute, in the last three weeks, Montana rocketed through a housing agenda that would give most US states a nosebleed. Duplexes: legal. Backyard cottages: legal. Discretionary design review: ended. Residential parking: optional after the first space. Commercial zones: they’re also apartment zones now.
How’d it happen? A bipartisan coalition united around a simple idea: when in a housing shortage, let cities build like they used to. It appears if there is a will…
• VIA notes Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria are among the four Canadian cities with the largest increases in the minimum down payment needed to purchase a single-family home between July 2018 and July 2023, with Toronto being the fourth, according to an Aug. 25 report by online brokerage Zoocasa. While Metro Vancouver doesn’t have the largest increase in down payment in the last five years, it has the most expensive minimum down payment of all Canadian cities at $402,980. Between July 2018 and July 2023, Metro Vancouver’s minimum down payment increased by $81,640.
• The Vancouver Sun is featuring a series of articles on the ‘naughty municipalities’ targeted by the provincial government to increase their housing density. In this article, Port Moody Mayor Meghan Lahti stresses ‘this council is absolutely committed to bringing in housing’ but not at any cost as pointed out with a proposed seniors’ housing tower. About 150 people responded to the proposal: Those against the 15-storey tower are vehement in their opposition, and many of those in favour question whether the precedent-busting height of the proposed seniors’ highrise belongs in a neighbourhood of single-family detached homes and few amenities.
Council recently concurred and has hopes the developer comes back with scaled-down plans for the property at Mary and St. George streets. But the developers — Avenir Senior Housing and Dulex Laidler Group — say they’ve already sunk as much money into revising plans to suit city concerns as they’re prepared to.
“That would be a challenge for us, it’s just gone on so long,” said Jason Craik, principal at Avenir. “I don’t think we have time to redesign. We saw Port Moody as a city that didn’t have seniors living and needed it badly, but we’re most likely going to look at another city to expand to.”
• The BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) has developed a set of resources as the province experiences an unprecedented wildfire season. Amongst other things, the BCCSA resources cover the following topics: Wildfire Smoke and its Effects; Construction Site Safety; Heat Stress Management; Fire Safety & PPE.
• Another interesting article by Siteline Institute looks at Oregon’s successful Land Use Laws to create wildfire adapted communities, with an emphasis on building infill housing within existing communities is the safest solution, recognizing ‘fire weather is now a fixture of the region, and it is not a question of if, but when a fire will come through.
• BCFSA is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the fees it collects from real estate developers who market development units in BC, including new strata units. The proposed fee changes are intended to help BCFSA recover the costs to administer and enforce the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA). You can learn more about the proposed changes to fees and participate in this consultation through the Real Estate Development Marketing Consultation Document and Feedback Form. This consultation will close on September 9.
• BC Housing is looking for building owners, construction experts, and design professionals to support their Mobilizing Building Adaptation and Resilience (MBAR) initiative. You can apply to have your current or planned project included in MBAR as a pilot project or offer your expertise to support MBAR pilot projects by completing the relevant Expression of Interest form.
• As mentioned in last week’s MMB and serving as a reminder, the FortisBC New Home Program is set to undergo a program change for 2024. To ensure rebate eligibility for the rebates available under the 2023 New Home Program, check out the details here.
FortisBC will be hosting two information sessions to give a rundown of the program changes and answer questions. Both sessions will cover the same content so please feel free to register for your preferred date/time using this link:
• Session 1: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 – 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
• Session 2: Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – 11:00 a.m. to noon.