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Vancouver building permit takes nearly a year

September 28, 2023

The City of Vancouver’s own data refutes its pledge to speed up approvals for residential building permits to help overcome a housing shortage.
The City’s new open data portal is revealing exactly how long it’s taking for projects to get underway nearly a year since the mayor and the ABC Vancouver party came into power with promise to simplify and speed up the permitting process.
Obtaining a building permit for a duplex home from the City of Vancouver in 2023 is taking a median of 325.5 days according to the open data portal. That’s nearly 11 months.
This measurement is based on 128 building permits issued in 2023 under the permit category of a low-density new build. The number of days is determined by the date at which an application generates a permit number to when the permit is issued.
Other housing types face similarly long wait times to obtain permits:
• Single-detached homes under the low-density new build category: 71 building permits issued in 2023; median time to obtain a permit: 260 days.
• Single-detached homes with a secondary suite under the same category: 146 building permits issued; median time to obtain a permit: 282.5 days. 
• Laneway homes: 96 building permits issued; median time to obtain a permit: 272.5 days.
Vancouver City Council’s Permitting Improvement Program was “dedicated to simplifying how permits are issued and the creation of digital tools for permit submissions.”
Total housing starts in the second quarter of 2023 in the City of Vancouver were 361 units—21 units more than in the same period a year earlier, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data.


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