The Metro Vancouver regional district is set to increase sewer fees for new developments on May 1, 2018. The sudden fee increase, with no phasing period, will impact new housing, commercial and industrial developments, raising concerns from the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) and the Urban Development Institute (UDI).
“Our industry is prepared to pay its fair share of the infrastructure and amenity costs associated with development growth but these higher fees will impact building cost and affordability. Their original staff report proposed a three-year phase-in, which would have provided a fixed cost timeline that allows developers to plan accordingly,” says UDI president and CEO Anne McMullin.
Rates for the Fraser area will rise between 214 and 230 per cent and for Vancouver will increase between 82 and 111 per cent, depending on the housing type. On top of that, the industry will see fee increases from various municipalities in the form of Development Cost Levies or Development Cost Charges (DCC) and Community Amenity Contributions (CACs), combined with the anticipated future TransLink DCC.
All these additional costs will need to be passed on and homebuyers will be hit at a time when the region is experiencing a housing supply and affordability crisis.
“The timing of this imposed stack of government charges on new homes couldn’t be worse. More than ever, it’s critical that all levels of government work together and not be at cross-purposes with each other,” said Bob de Wit, CEO GVHBA.
Representing over 1,700 members in the region’s development and construction community, the GVHBA and the UDI sent a joint letter to the Metro Vancouver board chair outlining their concerns with the sudden fee increase and lack of meaningful consultation with industry stakeholders.