B.C. announces online building permit hub to speed up homebuilding across province

According to Premier David Eby, "slow and complicated" building permit processes are the reason for delayed housing development.

B.C. Premier David Eby leaves after an announcement about digital homebuilding permits at the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s carpentry building in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, May 27, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The British Columbia government says a new online “hub” will speed up building permit processes across jurisdictions.

Premier David Eby says “slow and complicated” building permit processes have delayed housing development at a time when it’s urgently needed.

The province says the digital building permit system will be a “one-stop shop” for local building permits, and 12 municipalities and two First Nations governments are part of the first pilot phase of the new system.

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says the new system is unique in North America and aims to cut wait times for builders by standardizing requirements that suffer from inconsistencies in different communities.

Eby says builders have seen interest rates rise dramatically, and holding land while awaiting building permits creates a significant cost.

Kahlon says projects are sometimes held up for months as applications get passed around between builders and cities, while the two sides work on compliance with completion requirements.

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