Whether it’s social, rental or market housing, we have an incredible shortage of it. Add to that the reality that for the rental and market housing needs affordability has become a very real issue. Housing is out of reach for many looking to buy and rents are prohibitively high for many in our city. A good deal of this reality is in large part due to low inventory and increased demand. We need to build more, pure and simple. The cost, however, to build these houses has also been ravaged by inflation, making it more difficult for developers and builders to put out affordable options. The other thing plaguing these developers and homebuilders is turnaround times on permit applications, red tape, timely inspections, unnecessary public hearings, etc. All these things slow the process and as a result slow the delivery of new housing. Our city is growing at an accelerated pace, Kamloops is a desired community. Those deciding to make Kamloops their new home need a place to live.
Key to all this is that we need to be able to speed up the process. Builders need to be able to get permits much more quickly than they currently do. Inspections need to be done in a timely manner so that work isn’t unduly slowed down. Density needs to become a priority; we cannot afford sprawl and we have precious little land left to develop. We need to go up rather than out. We need to make full use of lot size, rather than a single-family home, perhaps more duplexes and fourplexes, etc. We need to not conduct public hearings on developments that have more than satisfied the criteria that is in our Official Community Plan, this would allow builders to start projects much more quickly and would again address our housing shortages. We need to continue encouraging the building of legal suites, carriage houses and garden suites, to help address demand. We need to continue incentivizing large developments like City Gardens so that we can keep pace with the inflow of more members to our community. In short whatever we can do to speed up the process for developers and builders while making certain that the public’s interests are protected, will be done.