VICTORIA — Some affordable housing projects in Victoria will now be able to skip rezonings or public hearings after city council unanimously passed a motion at a meeting Friday.

The city says the new legislation will accelerate construction for non-profit, government or co-op housing projects that are consistent with the city’s community plan and design guidelines.

Plans that meet the criteria will be delegated to staff for approval, which the city estimates will reduce project timelines by about nine months.

This makes it is the first municipality in the province to approve a citywide expedited process for building affordable housing.

The city says it’s the first of “several major policy moves” it plans to make homes more accessible and attainable for residents.

David Eby, the attorney general and minister in charge of housing, says in a release that moves like this will make it “easier, cheaper and faster” for the province and federal government to respond to the housing crisis.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press