Decreasing Permits Further Impact Housing Affordability
Kelowna, August 10, 2023 – While the demand for housing in Kelowna continues to grow, construction of new homes isn’t keeping up, which will further impact housing affordability. Recently released data from the July 2023 Housing Permit Report reveals a notable decrease in permits, despite an increased demand for housing, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts to address the housing affordability challenge.
According to monthly data released by the City of Kelowna, building permits for the month of July are down 13% compared to last year. Building permits for the year are down 32%. At a time when demand for housing has never been greater, the number of new doors is also down by nearly 40%. This decrease underscores the need to explore innovative and viable solutions to accommodate the housing requirements of our growing community.
In light of this, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Central Okanagan emphasizes the significance of working together to support the building industry and find innovative housing solutions.
“As the cost of housing continues to rise, none of us can afford a slow down in home building. Addressing the housing needs in Kelowna is a shared responsibility that requires collective action.” said Daniel Winer, Executive Director for CHBA-CO. “The provincial and federal governments are providing millions of dollars to municipalities to get more housing built. Kelowna needs to demonstrate how the use of these funds will create more homes for residents.”
In 2023, Kelowna has received over $26 million dollars from the provincial government to support infrastructure needs. Kelowna will also be applying for the Housing Accelerator Fund, a $4 billion dollar program created by the federal government to speed up new home construction across Canada. Builders and developers currently pay 65% of infrastructure costs. Those costs are eventually passed on to homeowners in the form of higher housing costs.
Kelowna can learn from the experiences of other cities that have successfully accelerated housing development. Edmonton, for instance, has been recognized as a leader in streamlining housing construction rules. A recent industry report ranked Edmonton as the top Canadian city for having the most straightforward housing construction rules, enabling them to expedite housing projects of all types to meet the needs of their residents.
Drawing inspiration from successful models within Canada, the CHBA-CO encourages City Council to explore potential improvements in housing development policies, with a focus on reducing unnecessary barriers and providing support to developers committed to creating affordable and accessible housing.
The CHBA-CO remains committed to supporting initiatives that prioritize housing affordability and advocates for open communication between stakeholders. By embracing collaboration and learning from success stories like Edmonton, Kelowna can build a brighter and more inclusive future for all residents.
For more information on the housing advocacy group and to explore ways to contribute to their mission, please visit www.chbaco.com
About the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan:
CHBA-CO is the voice of the residential construction industry in the Central Okanagan. Representing over 340 members, the CHBA-CO advocates on behalf of and provides education and community-building opportunities for builders, renovators, interior designers, and the suppliers and trade companies they employ. For more information visit www.chbaco.com