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West Kootenay governments receive $2.3 million to implement new housing rules

The money is for adding new staff following last year’s legislation changes
The Shoreline development is seen here under construction in Nelson. The provincial government has announced funding to help local communities adopt new housing legislation. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The provincial government is funding Kootenay municipalities and regional districts $2.3 million to help communities meet housing legislation requirements passed last year.

The legislation passed in November is intended to increase housing supply with several changes including allowing for more units built on lots currently zoned for single-family homes.

Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson said in a statement Thursday the new funding will allow local governments to implement those rules. It will be used to hire new staff and improve planning, development and reporting processes, which the government says should lead to more efficient housing approvals.

“I know many people across the Kootenays are concerned about finding a place to live that they can afford, which is why we are taking action to speed up the approval and building of new housing,” said Anderson. “With this funding, we’re making sure that local governments can adapt to these changes and be ready to support homes for people.”

The governments receiving funding include: Castlegar ($189,154), Creston ($175,497), Fruitvale ($159,276), Kaslo ($154,605), Nakusp ($157,704), Nelson ($200,766), New Denver ($152,296), Rossland ($169,000), Salmo ($156,221), Silverton ($150,953), Slocan ($151,383), Trail ($186,696), Warfield ($158,161), Regional District Central Kootenay ($279,143), Regional District of Kootenay Boundary ($144,392).

“The scale of our housing crisis demands swift action, but rural communities with limited staff may have trouble adapting to big changes,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West, in a statement. “This funding will be especially beneficial for our small communities here in the Kootenays as they transition to new provincial regulations.”

The funding is part of $51 million being doled out to 188 local governments by the B.C. NDP government.


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