BC’s Best Practice Guides intended to promote housing affordability often result in poor practice.

An example is the guide for Development Cost Charges, which says DCC’s must be applied with “Fairness and Equity, Accountability, and Certainty.”

“Certainty should be built into the DCC process, both in terms of stable charges and orderly construction of infrastructure. Stability of DCC rates will assist the development industry in the planning of their projects.”

Yet the province allows increases of more than 100% in one year adding significant costs to new homes.

Some municipalities have a Best Practice Guide for Community Association Land Use Committees, intended to provide objective review of development projects. Yet bias continues causing projects to fail, and/or accumulate unnecessary expenses.

An upcoming municipal Best Practice Guide for applying the province’s Step Code will likely boost housing costs by $40k to $100k while marginally increasing energy efficiency.

Best Practice Guides may recommend diligence and attention to affordability, yet municipalities often march to the beat of their own drummers.

The province remains at arm’s length due to their policy of municipal self-determination, a concept responsible for poor regional planning and contributing to the most expensive housing market in Canada.

Best Practice Guides offer little benefit to British Columbians for whom housing affordability is the #1 priority according to surveys. Read https://www.vrba.ca/step-code-step-public/.

With the costly Step Code on the horizon, British Columbians need real Best Practice rather than another manual offering advice.

Contact your MLA about this issue – they have received a letter from VRBA expressing our concerns.

Visit us at www.vrba.ca and www.careawards.ca. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

This column appears in Wednesday’s Times Colonist.