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David Eby, B.C. Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, speaks during a social housing funding announcement in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on July 28, 2021.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

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 Thursday.

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.

A news release from the city says the motion makes Victoria 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 the release that moves like this will make it “easier, cheaper and faster” for the province and federal government to respond to the housing crisis.

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