We need more housing, we need space for families and seniors, we need to build communities, we need inclusive and diverse neighbourhoods.  We can do this – here is a ten point plan I will pursue if elected to your city council.

 

Families

Did you know less than 1% of Victoria’s rental stock is appropriate for families with two or more kids?  Did you also know Victoria has less than half as many kids as cities like Edmonton and Ottawa?  Families are having trouble making our city work. We need them! They build community, they own our local businesses, they work in tech, the service industry, health care, and in government.

We can build family-friendly housing:

  • Change zoning to allow for duplexes or triplexes as an alternative to single-family housings within four blocks of a major transit route, urban villages, and schools. Combine this rezoning with guidelines for conversion fees for developers to ensure resources for community assets and more affordable housing and adequate tenant protection, like relocation assistance, compensation.
  • Permit three-story townhouses without required variances for townhouses that have one-floor one-bedrooms appropriate for seniors on the first floor and two-story family-friendly housing above for intergenerational living and opportunities to age in place.
  • Increase the allowable size of garden suites to ensure more housing is built for families and open up opportunities for co-ownership and shared living. Create pre-approved garden suite designs for homeowners to use reduce costs and timelines for new housing.

Renters

Victoria has the second lowest homeownership rate across the country – 61% of our city rents. Vacancy rates are less than 1% and for three-bedrooms the vacancy rate is zero.

We can protect and create rental housing

  • Allow homeowners to rent a garden suite and a secondary suite. Pair this tenant protection to ensure existing affordable rentals are not lost in the process of expanding our rental market.
  • Protect existing purpose-built rentals with new rental-only zoning and appropriate minimum standards of maintenance.
  • Make the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund available to homeowners and residents, to create new, affordable, accessible and appropriate housing in the neighbourhoods.

Low-income and Supportive Housing

The greater Victoria Point-in-Time homelessness count found more than 1,500 of our neighbours experiencing homelessness, including 158 who were without any shelter at all over night.

We can build more low-income and supportive housing

  • Identify city-owned land for the development of new mixed housing, including supportive, low-income, and low-middle income, and market rentals through provincial, federal, and regional initiatives. Partner with not-for-profit, faith-based, or other organizations to identify other locations for housing.
  • Institute inclusionary zoning where 15% of new density is required to be affordable based on CHMC guidelines for 30% of income. Include guidelines for 70% of these new units to be 2 or more bedrooms.
  • Prioritize low-barrier recovery housing for those waiting for or leaving treatment.
  • Work with the province, not-for-profit organizations, BC Housing, and other key players to ensure we build an emergency family shelter. Families facing an emergency housing crisis need somewhere safe to go. Opportunities include repurposing larger homes or multi-family dwellings in our neighbourhoods.