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Responsible Housing Development

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Major projects in BC need your support

Major projects in BC need your support

Responsible Housing Development

Responsible Housing Development


The red tape keeps growing – and that means slowing new units coming to market.

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Join us and let local governments know that you support increasing housing supply and oppose the Not In My BackYard (NIMBY) movement that contributes to stalled housing development projects.

Sign the petition and join the growing movement of people saying Yes In My Backyard. 

Petition Recipient List - click here

  • We're building homes, but not enough

    Builders are stepping up to meet huge housing demand in Greater Vancouver. In the first quarter of 2016 there was a record level of more than 7,000 housing starts, and new home construction is expected to remain above recent averages through 2016 and 2017. But even with a steady climb in residential building, the supply of available homes has been dropping. And ongoing population growth will make this an even harder curve to bend. 

  • Vancouver Housing: Supply is far < Demand

    Home sales have been growing much faster than new listings in Greater Vancouver - pushing this ratio up well above the range that is considered balanced. In some areas, sales have actually outpaced new listings, depleting already very low inventory. 

  • Increasing supply: Use the landbase better

    While the City of Vancouver has a relatively high density by Canadian standards, most if its landbase is set aside for single-family and low-rise residences. This suggests lots of potential to creatively fit in more housing. 

  • Increasing housing supply: Regulate better

    The cost of a new housing unit in Metro Vancouver includes, on average, close to $30,000 in project approval and regulatory compliance costs. And regulatory delays and uncertainty further strangle off growth in the housing market. 

  • A recent survey assessed total costs relating to project approval and regulatory compliance on residential developments. On average in 10 Lower Mainland municipalities, regulation adds more than $28,000 to the cost of a home. Regulatory costs and fees are also highly variable and don’t correspond with density – strongly suggesting room for improvement in many municipalities.

  • How can we unblock this backlog?

    1 - Process Approvals Faster

  • 2 - Reduce the overall regulatory burden

  • 3 - End the regulatory insanity

    Residential construction in the City of Vancouver has and continues to become more complex, costly and drawn-out - as the following experiences of an individual property owner trying to build a home illustrate.

  • Service providers required:

    • Realtor
    • Land surveyor
    • Lender
    • Architect/Designer
    • Structural engineer
    • Certified Energy Advisor
    • General Contractor
    • Interior Designer
    • Geo-technical engineer
    • ISA Certified Aborirst
    • Landscape Designer
    • Lawyer/Notary

  • The Real Opportunity for Better Affordability

    Red tape and regulation are big contributors to Lower Mainland housing costs. Costs and delays are two of the key issues we should insist local elected officials focus on.

    Bring Fees and Charges Down

    It’s clear that fees and regulatory compliance make up a significant proportion of the total cost of a home. One recent study found that direct municipal fees and charges alone average about $375,000 for a 22-unit development in Metro Vancouver.

    Metro Vancouver Townhouse Development – Average Direct Municipal Fees and Charges

  • Speed up Reviews and Permitting

    Delays drive up residential construction costs. Debt servicing and other carrying costs on development sites climb higher with every week of regulatory delay, with materials and labour costs also edging up. Yet municipal approval times demonstrate very little sense of urgency.

  • Regulation is cutting into supply

    When approval processes and costs become as onerous as they are, they inevitably impact hosuing affordability and even availability. Among homebuilders recently surveyed on their responses to municipal fees and regulatory delays: 

    All of which means that - unless we reduce the regulatory burden - even less new housing may be coming online in the years ahead. 

  • Vancouver Homes: Hidden Costs and Lack of Choice

    Vancouver’s aggressive “greenest city” goal entangles homebuilding in yet more red tape. And many homebuyers would likely say ‘no thanks’ to various requirements and costs. For example, a new house in Vancouver has to be built to accommodate possible:

    Many people are unlikely to use such technologies, but the choice has been made for you in Vancouver. And the on-the-ground experience of ICBA members confirms that the costs of ‘green’ requirements can be significant, and sometimes with little if any offsetting benefit.

    Source: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/green-home-building-policies.aspx

    Data with Little Value

    LEED building standards on condos include a requirement for “multipoint metering” to collect data on specific uses of electricity. While data might identify relatively high use for, say lighting or elevators, other regulations usually prevent strata corps from making big enough changes to recoup the metering cost.

    Typical cost: $75,000 

    Typical benefit: Minimal at best

  • Using More Energy Than is Saved

    Heat and energy recovery ventilators – designed to recover heat being vented by bathroom fans, for example – are mandatory in condos. While this might make sense in a cold climate, in our mild region very little heat and energy is recovered – likely less than the electricity needed to run the second fan required.

    Typical cost: $1,500 - $2,000 per suite 

    Typical benefit: Minimal at best

  • Fitting in more housing: lots of approaches, lots of benefits

    Densification is an obvious way to increase the housing supply in a given area. But it comes with a lot of additional benefits, and can be achieved in many ways besides just tall towers.