The Okanagan is Canada’s fastest growing metropolitan area. Population growth comes with a lot of opportunities – better access to transit, more community amenities, and a more diverse population leading to business growth and entrepreneurship.
Slowing down this growth is typically led by neighbourhood associations or ‘NIMBYs’. Short for ‘Not in My Back Yard’, NIMBY’s may be supportive of more housing, as long as it doesn’t happen in their neighbourhood. The result is not only a lack of social housing, but also a lack of homes for families with young children – often called ‘The Missing Middle’. When NIMBY’s win, the community loses, and housing costs go up.
City Councils are responsible for the approval of new housing and must stand up to NIMBYs.
- Allowing city staff to approve new housing that fits with the Official Community Plan (OCP) can get more homes built faster.
- City councils can waive public hearings for new construction that fits the OCP. Faster approvals mean less carrying costs for builders, and lower prices for consumers.
Councils also set a ‘permanent growth boundary’ within their OCP. Extending this boundary allows builders to construct new homes where none existed before.
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