B.C. is building more homes, faster

The B.C. government is making housing development projects easier with a new coordinated approach.

A single application portal for provincial natural resource permits is now available. 42 additional staff are ready to help you in the permitting process.

This means more homes will get built faster throughout B.C.

On this website, the term “permit” is used to describe permits, approvals, authorizations, certifications, permissions and licences.

We are simplifying housing permits issued by the provincial government

  • Streamlining the intake of permits
  • Offering direct project support for applicants
  • Coordinating how permits are managed
  • Improving housing project permit 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 permits. We are also improving how we process and collect application information.

We are making significant changes to natural resource permitting in response to feedback received through the BC Housing Permitting What We Heard Report.

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 Housing Navigator Service.

We are introducing a single gateway to get housing permits

The Single Housing Application Service is a new way to apply for all your provincial natural resource 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

This service will help by:

  • Identifying the permits needed for housing projects
  • Providing status updates on permit applications
  • Showing location-based permit information through a new dashboard

How housing permits currently work in B.C.

Housing development is a multi-stage process. You may need permits from B.C. government, local governments and/or First Nations. All levels of government are working together to simplify the permitting process for you.

There are different requirements at each stage of your project. You may need short-term permits during construction or long-term permits, such as a Water Licence to divert surface water.

Learn about the permits you may need from all levels of government

B.C. government

Local governments

First Nations

Provincial government permits

The B.C. government issues a range of permits for housing development projects. 

Learn more about the provincial permits you may need for your project and the benefit of coordinating early in the development process.


Archaeological sites are protected. They can only be altered with a permit issued by the Archaeology Branch.

Lands and forests

Crown land is administered by the provincial government. You may need a Crown land tenure if your housing project requires rights of way or utilities over Crown land.

You may need provincial permits to cut down or remove timber from Crown land or private land. Learn more about:


You need permits from the province for construction or modification work on or along a provincial highway. Learn more about:

Site remediation

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.

Subdividing land

You need provincial approval to subdivide land outside municipal boundaries. Local government approval is needed for projects within municipal boundaries.

Inside a municipality, contact your local government to better understand the requirements for subdividing land.


You need permits to divert, use or store water from a natural source such as a lake, stream, river or aquifer. Learn more about:

*for up to 2 years

You also need permits for construction work near water sources. Learn more about:

Riparian areas are the areas bordering on streams, lakes and wetlands that link water to land. There are regulations that protect these areas and fish habitat.

The Riparian Areas Protection Regulation applies only to local governments on the east side of Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the Southern Interior.

Engaging with local governments and First Nations

Local governments and First Nations also issue permits 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.

Local governments

You may need permits from your local government. Local governments are responsible for zoning and land use in their areas.

You may need permits from Technical Safety BC or your local government to install electrical and gas systems.

You may need to check with your local health authority to ensure you are compliant with the Drinking Water Protection Act.

Learn about Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Land Development.

Get help

Contact the Housing Navigator Service

The Navigator Service are dedicated staff to help you determine what applications are needed for your project and navigate the provincial process.

Find contacts and resources

For information about municipal permits, zoning and building codes: