British Columbia’s Housing Landscape Transformation


The British Columbia government has introduced the “Homes for People” action plan. This plan addresses British Columbia’s housing landscape and the province’s ongoing housing crisis with comprehensive legislation. It includes Bills 35, 44, 46, and 47. These bills aim to transform the housing landscape and make housing more affordable and accessible for residents across BC.

Bill 35: Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act

Bill 35 introduces stringent regulations on short-term rentals (STRs). The goal is to ensure more homes are available for long-term residents.

STRs are limited to the host’s principal residence and one additional unit, such as a secondary suite or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). This limitation is crucial for increasing the availability of long-term housing by preventing entire homes from being used solely for short-term rentals.

Hosts must register their rental properties with a new provincial registry and obtain a business license.
STR platforms, such as Airbnb, must ensure listings display valid registration numbers, or face removal.

These measures aim to reduce the number of entire homes used as short-term rentals, thereby increasing the availability of long-term housing.

Bill 44: Housing Statutes (Residential Development) Amendment Act

To streamline residential development, Bill 44 mandates updates to local zoning bylaws to support small-scale, multi-unit housing and densification efforts. Key provisions include:

Allowing at least one secondary suite or laneway home in all BC communities.

Requiring municipalities to permit a minimum of three to four units on single-family lots, or up to six units in areas near frequent transit services.

Eliminating the need for public hearings for rezonings that align with an existing Official Community Plan (OCP), accelerating the approval process for new housing.

This bill aims to unlock more housing options and reduce bureaucratic delays in the development process.

Bill 46: Housing Statutes (Development Financing) Amendment Act

Bill 46 focuses on improving the financing mechanisms for housing development:

Introducing the amenity cost charge to replace the community amenity contribution, providing a transparent understanding of project costs. The amenity cost charge is designed to offer clarity regarding the financial obligations of developers, thereby encouraging more housing projects.

Modifying development cost charges to fund additional services and infrastructure, supporting community growth.

These changes are designed to encourage development by making project costs clearer and reducing financial barriers for homebuilders.

Bill 47: Housing Statutes (Transit-Oriented Areas) Amendment Act

Bill 47 promotes higher-density housing near transit hubs by:

Designating Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Areas where municipalities must allow housing developments that meet provincial standards for height and density.

Removing restrictive parking minimums, permitting parking based on actual need and demand.
Requiring adherence to the provincial policy manual for consistent development approaches in TOD Areas.

This legislation seeks to create vibrant, high-density communities with easy access to public transit, reducing reliance on cars and promoting sustainable living.


The “Homes for People” legislation marks a significant shift in BC’s housing policy. It addresses affordability and availability issues head-on. By regulating short-term rentals, streamlining development processes, and promoting high-density housing near transit, these bills will transform British Columbia’s housing landscape.

Stay informed and prepare for the changes ahead. Familiarize yourself with the full details of these legislative measures. The impact of this legislation will vary across BC’s diverse communities. Next week, we will attend an online discussion panel with industry experts. They will discuss the implications of this new legislation. This discussion will provide a better idea of how it will affect British Columbia’s housing landscape and the real estate market.