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Posted: September 3, 2021

Local municipalities funded to improve housing approvals

Forty-three local governments throughout British Columbia are receiving grants to create more efficient development approvals processes, including three in the East Kootenay.

The Local Government Development Approvals Program is providing nearly $15 million to help local governments implement best practices and develop innovative ways to support non-profit housing organizations, developers and other stakeholders to build essential housing for people around the province as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

The three East Kootenay municipalities receiving funds are: City of Fernie – $171,875 for development approvals enhancement; The City of Kimberley – $200,000 for development approvals process review; and the District of Invermere – $275,000 for a development approvals review and records management system.

The program was open to all municipalities, regional districts and the Islands Trust, and is administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities on behalf of the province.

“Local governments are creating new ways to streamline development approval processes and accelerate the delivery of new homes to communities,” said Brian Frenkel, president of the Union of BC Municipalities. “This program provides a welcome investment to implement these changes and will help establish a new range of best practices in B.C.”

“Local governments play a critical role in making sure the housing people need in their communities is built quickly and meets local needs. These grants will help them do critical work to modernize development permitting and approvals by removing barriers and streamlining processes,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Together, the Province, local governments, housing providers and builders can find solutions that support more affordable housing for everyone in B.C.”

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