Housing Strategy

Whether starting out, growing a family, or down-sizing - Everyone deserves a home

That’s why we are working on several policies to address housing and affordability in our community.

Victoria Housing Strategy 2016 - 2025

Council adopted Phase Two: Victoria Housing Strategy 2019 - 2022 in July 2019 which builds on Phase One of the strategy and Council’s Strategic Plan.

The Strategy provides guidance for housing policies and initiatives that meet residents’ needs across the housing continuum, including non-market housing, affordable rental housing, market rental housing, and affordable or entry-level ownership. No one policy on its own is expected to address all housing needs and collaboration with senior levels of government is critical.

The strategy includes 44 actions that focus on ways to:

  • Improve affordability, stability and choice for renters
  • Encourage new housing supply
  • Encourage a range of housing options to meet the needs of residents
  • Track our progress and improve the City’s housing policies and programs
  • Try bold ideas to achieve new results

Read The Victoria Housing Strategy Phase Two [PDF - 3 MB]

Recent Housing Work

The following initiatives have been undertaken recently to improve housing in Victoria:

  • Short-term rental regulations geared to increase access to long-term rental housing
  • Tenant Assistance Policy to provide better support for renters who are required to move when their building is rezoned for redevelopment
  • Renter’s Advisory Committee to provide advice and recommendations to Council on rental housing and tenant related matters
  • Inclusionary Housing and Community Amenity Policy to encourage affordable housing in new multi-unit strata development
  • Victoria Housing Reserve Fund contributions to support the development and retention of affordable housing in Victoria, including committing $1.8 million to build 138 new affordable homes for seniors, families, working individuals, and people with disabilities
  • Victoria Housing Reserve Fund Guidelines Update that added tenant protections, new affordable housing targets, a focus on those most in need and increasing the fund contribution from $250,000 to $1 million for 2019
  • New Housing Targets that define affordable rent amounts using Victoria’s renter’s median incomes, as well as to establish targets for creating 2800 new housing units by 2024, with more than 50% of these units being affordable to households earning less than $54,999 per year
  • Prioritizing new affordable and rental housing project applications to help create more housing faster, and waiving application fees for non-market housing projects

Current Housing Work for 2020

Council has prioritized the following actions for 2020:

  • City-Owned Sites for Affordable Housing: The City of Victoria is actively contributing land to affordable housing, including:
    • A recently approved rental housing project that includes 130 affordable and below market units at the Firehall site in partnership with BC Housing and Pacifica Housing
    • Two BC Housing affordable housing projects entering the rezoning process in the Burnside (87 units) and Fernwood (155 units) neighbourhoods
    • Seeking new land acquisitions to support future BC Housing project(s) subject to BC Housing future funding calls
    • Land and buildings provided at nominal cost to support a 48 bed transitional shelter
  • Family Housing Strategy to encourage the development of more two-and three-bedroom units and to ensure new housing meets the needs of families
  • Missing Middle Housing Project to create more housing choice by making it easier to build diverse ground-oriented housing like duplexes, houseplexes and townhouses, that fit well within neighbourhoods and support citywide liveability and sustainability goals
  • Secured Rental Housing Project to incentivize new market and affordable rental housing development, while preserving and enhancing Victoria's existing purpose-built rental housing stock
  • Residential Rental Tenure Zoning implementation to preserve existing and future rental housing in Victoria
  • Tenant Engagement Strategy to ensure tenants voices are heard and to increase renter participation in public engagement processes
  • Market Rental Protection and Revitalization Project that includes a new Renoviction Bylaw to protect tenancies and a Residential Standards of Maintenance Bylaw to establish a basic standard of repair for rental properties
  • Market Rental Energy Upgrades Pilot Program that uses municipal tax incentives to encourage the rehabilitation of existing rental buildings to achieve seismic resiliency and energy efficiencies with limited tenant displacement 
  • House Conversion Regulation Updates that will make it easier to convert houses to multiple units in order to create more rental, affordable rental and affordable homeownership units, while incentivising heritage designation
  • Housing Champions to develop a team to promote informed awareness and acceptance of affordable housing projects and housing or social initiatives in the community
  • Housing Agreements to reduce barriers such as pet or age restrictions in new development
  • Housing Working Group formation to review progress on Housing Strategy items

A full list of all 44 housing actions for 2019-2025 are listed in the Victoria Housing Strategy (2019-2022) [PDF - 3 MB]

Get Involved

Visit engage.victoria.ca to learn about current and upcoming opportunities to provide input on housing-related work.

Other Housing Resources