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Section B: Office of Housing and Construction Standards

Purpose of the Office

The Office of Housing and Construction Standards (the Office) brings together key areas of government devoted to improving access to safe and stable housing for all British Columbians. The Office is responsible for: provincial housing policy; building policy (including the B.C. Building Code and the B.C. Fire Code); safety policy (relating to mechanical products and systems) and the Residential Tenancy Branch. The Office continues work on three major initiatives:

  • Implementation of the provincial housing strategy;
  • Development of green building provisions that will support government commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Modernization of regulatory systems to achieve safety in the design, construction and occupancy of buildings.

The Housing Policy Branch provides policy advice to government on ways to address housing need along the continuum from homelessness to home ownership. Working closely with the BC Housing Management Commission and other social development Ministries, special attention is paid to the area of most acute need found among low and moderate income British Columbians who have special housing and support needs.

Maintaining and improving public safety and reducing loss of life, injury and property damage is of paramount importance to government. The Building and Safety Policy Branch provides policy advice concerning British Columbia’s building regulatory system to improve building safety in the province and to manage existing and emerging technical and building policy issues including the government’s commitment to address climate change. In line with the branch’s responsibility for the B.C. Building Code and the B.C. Fire Code, branch activity focuses on the development and maintenance of building regulations, as well as providing support to industry participants. The Branch provides policy and regulatory advice in the areas of electrical, gas, elevating devices, boiler and pressure vessel products and systems, ski lifts, and amusement rides. The Branch also acts as the secretariat to the B.C. Building Code Appeal Board.

Residential Tenancy Branch strives to support a balance between landlords and tenants with respect to their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Act and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act. The Residential Tenancy Branch provides landlords and tenants with information about their rights and responsibilities, and dispute resolution services.

Services are delivered directly by the Office or through our service delivery partners, the BC Housing Management Commission, the Homeowner Protection Office and the British Columbia Safety Authority.

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