Residents of stratas with 55-plus age limits can now have younger family members live with them
British Columbians residing in stratas with 55-plus age restrictions will now be able to have family members under that age live with them, the province announced Monday.
People currently living in buildings with 55-and-over bylaws are now able to move in future children, dependents, and spouses or partners who are under that age, according to a new amendment to strata regulations.
It means adult children or former dependents of current residents are able to move back in with their parents or former caregivers — and that current residents can start a family if they wish.
Previously, the Strata Property Act only made exceptions for live-in caregivers and people who were already residing in the units before an age limit was imposed.
The amendment to the act comes into effect immediately.
Kalina Malowany and husband, Artem Bylinskii, spoke to CBC last month after they became concerned their dreams of starting a family might be dashed when their building's strata proposed a 55-plus bylaw.
"Ultimately, this will never be a place that we're able to call home," Malowany said at the time.
Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said Monday no one should have to lose their home over the decision to start a family.
"After hearing from a few people experiencing similar situations, we've made changes so they and others can grow their families or support their children while knowing that they'll be able to stay in the home they know and love," Kahlon said in a statement.
Kahlon said his ministry estimated 230 strata corporations in the province — out of an estimated 34,000 — had switched to only allow people over the age of 55 to live in them since the province changed its rules in November.
The rule changes prohibited strata corporations from imposing age-restriction bylaws except for the 55-plus restriction. According to the minister, the decision to do away with many strata restrictions was due to the government's intention to build more housing, especially rental housing.
Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Homeowners Association of B.C., said that it took around six months for the province and condo owners to iron out the finer details — such as the newly-announced exemption — in the Strata Act.
"It took a little bit more time to try and figure this out so that it could be a reasonable accommodation, but at the same time still help to sustain retirement communities," he said.