HAVAN   News
April 25, 2020
GRU #354
Government Relations Update #354
Mark Sakai, Director of Government Relations &
Jay Chadha, Government Relations Research Associate
Twitter: @Mark_HAVAN
COVID-19

  • Surely, density is the driver for COVID-19 outbreaks, right? Not so fast, NIMBY, according to this article from City Observatory
  • The Home Inspectors Association BC released this protocol information sheet regarding inspection guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • BCREA’s latest Market Intelligence report compares historical recessions in BC to the current downturn caused by COVID-19. Notably, they expect that as a result of historically low interest rates and pent up demand, home sales and prices will recover in 2021. Also, ICYMI here is the recording from our ‘COVID-19 Economic Outlook: Housing Market Impact and Recovery’ webinar with BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. 
  • One of the lessons from social isolating/quarantining: good balconies make a difference!

METRO WEST
For Your Information

  • The City of Vancouver is conducting this survey to better understand the factors that affect the level of building retention in a character house retention project. The survey will be available till May 6. 
  • Cllr. Hardwick’s motion on ‘Strengthening Representative Democratic Practices in Vancouver’ has returned on the agenda for Vancouver’s Council meeting of 28 April. With that being said, there are some changes from the previous document such as removing the requirement to identify address or neighborhood. 
  • The City of Vancouver’s VBBL 2021 policy on Climate Emergency Requirements for New Housing 3-Storeys and Under is back at Council’s meeting on 29 April, after being pulled from the agenda in March. There have been some modifications to the staff report and recommendations, the key one being the change of implementation date for the Part 9 residential building requirements to January 1, 2022 (six months later than originally proposed). You can read the revised report here. HAVAN will be providing a letter generally supporting the changes, but asking for ongoing consultation on the implementation and monitoring of the new By-Law. Also on the agenda is a presentation on ‘COVID-19 Housing Response’. 
  • On the agenda for New Westminster’s Special Council meeting of 27 April is a report on ‘Covid-19: Interim Development Review Process’ (pg. 105).
NORTHEAST SECTOR
For Your Information

  • On the agenda for Maple Ridge’s Council Workshop of 28 April is a report from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) on ‘Protecting Vital Municipal Services’ (pg. 9). This report outlines FCM’s request to the Federal Govt. to provide emergency operating funding for municipalities in order to ease COVID-19 related financial troubles.  
  • At Maple Ridge’s Council meeting of 28 April, a report on ‘Access Management Policy’ is on the agenda (pg. 61). Also, the city’s updated sign bylaw is up for adoption (pg. 116). 
  • On the agenda for Port Moody’s Special Council meeting of 28 April are reports on ‘Housekeeping Amendments to the Building Bylaw’ and ‘Zoning Bylaw Amendments’. 
SOUTH OF FRASER
For Your Information

  • This report regarding ‘Amendments to Public Hearing / Input Processes for Development Applications due to COVID-19’ was on the agenda for Langley Township’s Special Council meeting of 20 April. 
  • As Surrey has made several operational changes due to COVID-19, the city’s Land Development Group is currently seeking input on ways to further modify their processes to facilitate access to city services. As such, they have launched the Land Development Client Survey. Please note that the survey is only available till April 29. 
  • A report with updates on major development projects in Delta is on the agenda for the city’s Regular Council meeting of 27 April. Also, there is a motion put forward by Cllr. Krueger on ‘Amendment to Multi-Unit Residential Zones’ (Item F.07). Specifically, the motion is regarding allowing window and entrance way projections for multi-unit residential zones just as they are allowed in single detached and duplex zones (Item G.01). Additionally, there is a presentation by the city manager on ‘Service Levels – Business Continuity Plan’ (Item F.06). 
  • On the agenda for Langley City’s Regular Council meeting of 27 April is a report regarding ‘Temporary Exclusion of Public from Open Meetings’ (pg. 21). 
NORTH SHORE
For Your Information

  • On the agenda for North Vancouver City’s Regular Council meeting of 27 April is a report on ‘COVID-19 - Considerations for Public Hearings/Meetings and Public Consultation Process’ (pg. 67). Also, there is a motion put forward by Cllr. Valente on ‘COVID-19 Provincial Action in Support of Homeowners – Expansion of Property Tax Deferment Program’. 

REGIONAL, PROVINCIAL, NATIONAL
For Your Information

  • On the agenda for Metro Vancouver’s Regional Planning Committee meeting of 1 May is a report on ‘Updating the Regional Growth Strategy: A Proposed Response in Light of COVID-19’. Also, there are reports on: Metro 2040 Housing Policy Review – Discussion Paper; Metro 2040 Rural Policy Review – Scope of Work; Metro 2040 Implementation Policy Review Scope of Work. 
  • The Land Owner Transparency Registry website is now active. All elements of the enabling legislation are not in force at this point, but the website provides a lot of information on what is expected to be coming down the road.
  • The Provincial Government announced that applications for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers program will open on May 1. 
  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program will be opening for applications on April 27. 
  • The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will trigger a rent reduction of 75% for small businesses in Canada affected by COVID-19 as per Prime Minister Trudeau. 
RENOVATIONS
For Your Information

  • HAVAN would like to hear from our renovator-members about access to homes, specifically strata units, during the Coronavirus pandemic. Has the strata council or property management company denied access to work on renovation projects, even though all permits have been obtained, and a construction site safety plan has been communicated to the council/management company? Please email me at mark@havan.ca. 
  • The Home Performance Stakeholder Council (HPSC) is hosting an on-line meeting on Thursday 07 May from 8:00 – 9:00am for all home performance contractors to better understand industry needs and to collect ideas around what government actions would be most effective in meeting your business challenges. Check out the link to the Eventbrite registration page.  
HOUSING AFFORDABILITY
For Your Information
EVERYTHING ELSE
For Your Information

  • Here’s a great report from the Ryerson City Building Institute titled ‘Density Done Right’. Amongst other things, the report looks at how distributed density can lead to healthy and livable neighborhoods while also increasing housing affordability. 
  • For the record, GRU does not endorse swallowing UV lamps to get light inside your body, or the injection of disinfectant to kill Coronavirus.
HAVAN, through its Director of Government Relations, works with Metro Vancouver local governments on important public policy issues, including pending and existing regulations which impact the home building industry. Non-partisan policy analysis and strategic consultation is provided in a collaborative approach in order to efficiently deliver to market the required supply of homes to support Metro Vancouver's 21 municipalities. Working with HAVAN members and industry stakeholders, to build and maintain positive relations with municipal, regional and provincial governments, HAVAN is the respected voice of Metro Vancouver's residential construction industry.
Contact us: info@havan.ca | 778-565-4288 |  www.havan.ca