B.C. introduces exemptions for children, spouses living in 55 plus stratas

British Columbia residents who find themselves entangled in new property bylaws because their home has been changed to a 55-plus age restriction now have more protection.

 The government brought in changes in November to the Strata Property Act to end all rental restriction bylaws except for those buildings that are designated for residents age 55 and over, prompting hundreds of strata properties to adopt the age restriction.

 The B.C. government said it has now expanded the list of exemptions to allow those under 55 to remain at those properties to include their future children, dependants or partners.

 Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said Monday they’ve heard from some people who said they could lose their homes if they have additions to their family.

 “We know starting a new family can be both exciting and very stressful and losing your home because you are starting a family is one stress that we want to eliminate,” he said at the legislature. “The changes we’re making now can allow young families, if they are choosing to have a child, to continue to stay in the units they are living in.”

 Kahlon said the amendments to the act will keep promoting seniors’ housing while allowing residents to stay in their homes “even if their family structure changes.”

B.C.’s seniors’ advocate Isobel Mackenzie said it’s an important change that balances the desire of many seniors to live in buildings that focus on creating a senior-friendly environment.

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