Grace’s Platform

Making space: Building vibrant, inclusive communities for all

More housing and housing for homes first.

  1. We can and must nurture and create real conversations between all levels of government to ensure Victoria’s housing needs are met, including below market, co-ops, market, and rentals.
  2. Locals need to have the opportunity to invest in and buy the kind of housing we and our communities need.
  3. It’s time to explore opportunities to use the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund to support homeowners and residents, not just developers. At the same time, we should collaborate with developers of new projects to offer those who live and work in our communities to have the first chance to buy.

To see Grace’s full housing plan, check out her ten-point plan!

Encourage and make it easier to build garden suites, townhouses, and family-appropriate housing where people live, work, play, and go to school.

  1. The size of garden suites can be increased on sufficiently large lots – this can support both homeowners and renters with the pressing issues of affordability and housing availability.
  2. There are opportunities to explore both incentives and requirements for more family-housing (2-3 bedrooms) in new builds.
  3. To reduce isolation, support seniors in active living, and allow them to remain an integral part of their communities, we need housing that wil enable seniors to age in place. We can promote opportunities to downsize and to create intergenerational housing through one-level suites in new townhouses and by ensuring there is housing that is accessible, SAFER eligible, and centrally located in our neighbourhoods.
Imagine the opportunity to stay in the neighbourhood you love and want to help build, imagine a front door and the chance to share a green space and garden with your neighbours and community, imagine the opportunity for families near schools and work. Imagine the opportunity for folks at all stages of life to connect, support, and learn from one another!

Create more multi-use, shared community spaces and community hubs that combine and facilitate arts, culture, active living and local recreation, seniors groups, and community organizations.

  1. Public amenity requirements for new developments should include or facilitate space for the community.
  2. Victoria can enhance arts and culture through supporting initiatives like the arts hub at the old Maritime Museum building (28 Bastion Square).
  3. The city can play a role in facilitating collaborations between not-for-profits, schools, faith-based organizations and/or businesses to create and make use of shared space for the benefit of communities, families, and individuals.
Imagine vibrant communities where housing is more than housing, but also includes space for the organizations and culture that make this city worth living in!

Develop a city-wide family-friendly city and childcare strategy. Support the development of childcare spaces and community-based after school care for those who live and work in our city.

  1. We must equip and support our community centres in accessing provincial and federal funds to ensure they can grow to fill the needs of families in their neighbourhoods.
  2. We can re-evaluate zoning requirements that delay childcare spaces if they are not related to the health and safety of children. Delays increase costs to those who look after our city’s children and make families economically and socially vulnerable.
  3. There is opportunity to work with the school board, faith based organizations, licensing bodies, and care providers to ensure that our community spaces, parks and playgrounds can also provide safe and reliable outdoor places for childcare centres. This will make it easier for new care centres to meet licensing requirements for safe, outdoor spaces and, in turn, increase the number of childcare spaces in our city.
  4. We need to focus on intergenerational spaces to encourage belonging, expanded families, and healthy communities.

Build strong relationships with the Lekwungen speaking peoples on whose homeland we live.

  1. Move towards reconciliation by building collaborative and respectful relationships with the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations.
  2. Actively implement the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action.
  3. Reconciliation is our collective commitment to moving forward; this will mean challenging conversation – I am committed to these important conversations and aim to be part of finding respectful ways to move forward. Our work ahead will include new and exciting opportunities to work together and create collaborations that honour the past and support a shared future.

Support affordable, subsidized, and supportive housing in shared neighbourhoods.

  1. Ensure low-income housing can be built in neighbourhoods where people live, work, and go to school.
  2. Address the gap between the need for low-income housing for families and current supply by encouraging the development of more low-income, three-bedroom and family-friendly units.
  3. Advocate with other levels of government for necessary services and supports for those with barriers to safe and secure housing, including mental health and addiction.
  4. Create meaningful engagement with neighbours before, during, and after housing and shelter is implemented in communities. We are all in this together.

Increase efficiencies of city and community planning; empower and encourage a greater diversity of voices through modern and inclusive options for citizen participation in community planning.

  1. There is opportunity to improve and reduce the time and cost of community planning with simple measures. We can increase accessibility for those with barriers to participation by allowing participation via video and online forums. Services can and should be provided in multiple languages to meet the changing needs of Victoria.
  2. Ensure transparency of process, budgeting, and spending for more accountability and meaningful engagement by residents.

Ensure accessibility.

  1. Prioritize accessibility in transportation planning, neighbourhood designs, and community spaces.
  2. Enable and require local businesses to provide accessible spaces and options.

Prioritize safe, diverse and active transportation options.

  1. Advocate for low-income and sliding scale bus passes for those living in the Capital Regional District by working with and through the VRTC. Other cities have done this to enable the most vulnerable to access community supports, work, and education.
  2. Build and protect safe and accessible cycling and walking options for all ages and abilities.
  3. Ensure functional and affordable parking for those who need to drive downtown or to urban villages.

Support local businesses that make Victoria vibrant, unique, and fun

  1. Victoria loves local and we value our local businesses. We need to make sure that people can build these businesses and live in the community they help to thrive.
  2. Support and attract innovation, entrepreneurs, and tech and craft businesses that offer living wages and enhance life in Victoria. We need to attract great talent for these businesses to hire.
  3. Open up opportunities for Victoria’s breweries, coffee roasters, distilleries and local food producers to add tasting rooms by reducing red tape barriers like unproductive parking requirements and supporting more safe/healthy transportation options.
  4. Ensure that Victoria’s tourism industry is built around and highlights these local businesses that make Victoria an amazing place to visit.

A kid-friendly city is a vibrant city!

  1. The maintenance, accessibility, and safety of playgrounds are critical to families for healthy, low-cost recreation.
  2. More bike parks and natural play spaces will help create activity and connected neighbourhoods.

More vibrant, public events and shared spaces for celebration and community building

  1. Enable more markets and public events, like open-streets, car-free day, and evening neighbourhood markets that bring people together.
  2. Support neighbourhoods in ‘place-making’ and community building through opportunities like the Great Neighbourhood Grants.

Support public art

  1. Support public art, especially in places where it can support safer communities, like art in vacant storefronts and murals on public bathrooms, and in spots where it can help draw consumers to local businesses. Maintain and reinvigorate outdoor performance space as indicated in the Arts and Culture Masterplan.