Housing affordability is a top priority for the City of Victoria.
Victoria Housing Stats
- Victoria's population grew from 63,800 in 1981 to 85,300 in 2016 (Statistics Canada)
- 60% of Victoria households are rented (compared to 51% in Vancouver and 34% regionally) (CRD Housing Demand Estimates 2018)
- The current vacancy rate in Victoria is 0.7% - one of the lowest in the country (CMHC Fall Rental Report 2017)
- Affordable housing means housing that costs no more than 30% of household income before tax
- The 2018 Point in Time count estimates that there are approximately 1,500 homeless people in the Region
Annual housing reports include a compilation of housing data for the City of Victoria. The data comes from monthly reports of building permit issuance and is supplemented by data from the Victoria Real Estate Board and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Where possible, the data is broken down by neighbourhood and/or accompanied by previous year’s data for comparison.
- Annual Housing Report 2017 [PDF - 1.4 MB]
- Annual Housing Report 2016 [PDF - 1.4 MB]
- Annual Housing Report 2015 [PDF - 1.4 MB]
For more information about recent home sales visit the Victoria Real Estate Board website.
For more analysis and research of local housing markets visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Victoria Housing Strategy
The City of Victoria has developed the Victoria Housing Strategy aimed at addressing housing affordability in Victoria. The three main strategic directions involve increasing supply of housing for low to moderate income households, encouraging diversity of housing types, tenures, and prices across the city and within neighbourhoods, and building awareness and partnerships for affordable housing through communication, education and advocacy.
Victoria Housing Reserve Fund
The City has a grant fund available for the development and retention of affordable housing. The guidelines have been updated to expand the eligibility criteria and flexibility for how the fund may be used, including creating a tiered system to encourage more family housing, and funding for home ownership projects. Read more about the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund.
Secondary Suites and Garden Suites
Secondary suites and Garden Suites can offer homeowners a variety of benefits and increase the amount of safe, affordable housing in Victoria.
Secondary suites are now permitted in most single family homes throughout the City. Only one rental suite is permitted in any single family house, however, Council has directed staff to explore multiple rental suites and secondary suites in more intensive forms of housing (including duplexes and on lots with a garden suite) as a part of neighbourhood planning currently underway.
Garden suites (also known as carriage or laneway houses) are now permitted as accessory rental dwellings to single family homes. Find out more on the Garden Suites page.
Protecting Tenants and Rental Housing
Rising housing costs and low rental housing vacancy rates mean that tenants may have difficulty finding affordable and suitable housing. This difficulty may increase when tenants have to move because their building gets renovated or redeveloped. The City of Victoria’s new Tenant Assistance Policy guides tenant assistance for tenants who must move if their building is redeveloped.
The City of Victoria is an active partner and a strong advocate for affordable housing.
City Council created the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability, comprised of citizens and community leaders with experience in planning, architecture, real estate development, anti-poverty and non-profit housing.
Since 2004 the City of Victoria has been proactively addressing the affordable housing issue and has been working with many different housing agencies (both private and public) to create opportunities to address housing needs across the housing continuum. Read about affordable housing initiatives from 2008-2010 [PDF - 306 KB].
The purpose of assisted housing is to provide accommodation for eligible senior citizens, families and individuals. To qualify for assisted housing, applicants are assessed on the basis of need. In Victoria, assisted housing includes a variety of:
- Self-contained rental units in apartments and townhouses for families, seniors and individuals
- Co-op housing
- Complex care facilities
- Transition housing
- Youth housing
- Supportive housing
- Group homes
Assisted housing is managed by housing providers. The City of Victoria supports the work of these key housing providers:
- Capital Region Housing Corporation
- Cridge Centre for the Family
- Greater Victoria Housing Society
- Gorge View Society
- M'Akola Housing Society
- Pacifica Housing Advisory Association
- Salvation Army Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre
- Shekinah Homes Society
- St. Vincent de Paul Housing Society
- Threshold Housing Society
- Victoria Cool Aid Society
Most assisted housing can be applied for through BC Housing
Links to Other Resources
- Emergency Housing
- Rent Assistance for Seniors
- Rent Assistance for Families
- Apply for Subsidized Housing
- Find a Victoria Housing Cooperative
- First Time Homebuyers Guide
- CMHC Affordable Housing Centre
- BC Housing Programs and Resources
- BC Residential Tenancy Branch
- Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre
- Landlord BC
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