B.C. is building more homes, faster
The B.C. government is making housing development projects easier with a new coordinated approach. We are improving how you submit applications, and how they’re processed. 42 additional staff are ready to help you in the permitting process. This means more homes will get built faster throughout B.C.
Have a current housing development project?
We are simplifying housing approvals
- Streamlining the intake of permits and authorizations
- Offering direct project support for applicants
- Coordinating how authorizations are managed
- Improving housing project approval processes and policies
- Creating digital tools to improve project efficiency
We are making faster permitting decisions
The B.C. Housing Action Taskforce is a dedicated team, including navigators, who will work across government to make faster decisions on provincial housing authorizations. We are also improving how we process and collect application information.
The Taskforce is prioritizing:
- Indigenous-led projects
- Projects that include multiple units
- BC Housing projects
- Projects in communities where the housing need is the greatest
If you need help, contact the B.C. Housing Action Taskforce.
We are building a single place to get housing permits
This service is in development and will launch later in 2023
The Taskforce is creating a single application portal for housing permits and authorizations. This portal will make it easy to apply for all your provincial permits in one place. This will include permits issued by:
- Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
- Ministry of Forests
- Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
- Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship
The single application portal will help people by:
- Identifying the permits needed for housing projects
- Providing status updates on permit applications
- Showing location-based permit information through a new dashboard
While this service is under construction, the Taskforce will help people with their current housing permit needs.
How housing authorizations currently work in B.C.
Housing development is a multi-stage process. You will usually need authorizations from B.C. government, local governments and First Nations. All levels of government are working together to simplify this process for you.
There are different authorization requirements at each stage of your project. You might need an authorization for a short time — like a Highway Use Permit during construction — or for a longer time — such as a Water Licence to divert surface water.
Learn about the authorizations you may need from all levels of government
Former industrial or commercial sites may be contaminated. You must find and remove contaminants before you can build on these sites. This is known as site remediation.
Archaeological sites in B.C. are protected and can’t be altered without a permit. You may need a permit to assess the archaeological significance of land you want to build on.
Lands and forests
Crown land is land administered by the provincial government. Crown land tenures support activities such as easement or rights of way over Crown land which may be required for your housing project.
You may need provincial permits or authorizations to cut down or remove timber from Crown land or private land. Learn more about:
You need authorization to divert, use or store water from a natural source such as a lake, stream or river. Learn more about:
*for up to 2 years
You also need permits for construction work near water sources. Learn more about:
Riparian areas link water to land. They border streams, lakes and wetlands. There are regulations that protect these areas and fish habitat. Learn more about:
You need authorization from the province for construction or modification work on or along a provincial highway. Learn more about:
You need permission from the B.C. government to subdivide land outside a municipality. Inside a municipality, contact your local government.
Engaging with local governments and First Nations
Local governments and First Nations also issue permits and authorizations for housing development projects. You need to consider:
- Local zoning, bylaws and permitting rules
- Engaging and accommodating First Nations on land and resource decisions
Engaging with First Nations
While the province is responsible for consulting with First Nations, you are encouraged to engage with First Nations as early as possible in your planning process. This can help build relationships, share information and provide greater clarity and timeliness to your project.
You may need authorizations from your local government. Local governments are responsible for zoning and land use in their areas.
- Find your municipality
- Contact your local government
- Learn about development permit areas
- Learn about zoning for housing
You may also need permits from Technical Safety BC or your local government to install electrical and gas systems.
Contact the B.C. Housing Action Taskforce
Taskforce staff can help with questions about provincial permits and authorizations.
Find contacts and resources
For information about municipal permits, zoning and building codes: