Housing Strategy

We’re updating a strategy for achieving improved housing affordability.

Much of the work is underway and new actions will roll out over the next year.

Recent Housing Initiatives

Upcoming Initiatives

  • A Standards of Maintenance Bylaw to establish a basic standard of repair for residential rental properties, expected for 2019
  • Consideration of opportunities to accelerate development processes for affordable rental homes
  • Consideration of new strategies to preserve existing rental housing
  • Consideration of grant program for secondary suites and garden suites
  • New measures to encourage more diversity in housing types for families, seniors, and working individuals

We encourage you to participate in the many discussions related to these and other housing initiatives over the coming year.

Sign up to recieve email updates

Send us an email with "Housing" in the subject line and we will add you to our distribution list for updates on housing related events and input opportunities.

Draft Housing Strategy Action Items

Here is a list of the draft action items currently being considerd for the update to the strategy

Current Victoria Housing Strategy

An updated strategy, guided by Council's Strategic Plan and input from stakeholder and the community will be considered by Council this spring.

Ongoing Housing Work

Inclusionary Housing

Council directed staff to replace the existing Density Bonus Policy with a new Inclusionary Housing and Density Bonus Policy to encourage onsite affordable housing in new developments. A draft policy was presented to Council in September 2018, with further stakeholder consultation currently underway. Based on Council direction, a revised policy will be considered by Council in 2019.

Rental Housing and Tenant Support

The City has been exploring different municipal tools to protect and encourage the upgrading of Victoria’s large stock of pre-2000 market rental apartments. There are more than 16,700 apartment units housing a significant number of the City’s renters.

  • The City of Victoria’s new Tenant Assistance Policy provides guidelines for tenant assistance when renters are required to move because their building is being rezoned for redeveloped. 
  • A Rental Energy and Seismic Upgrade incentive program will aim to improve energy performance and seismic upgrades to the City’s aging rental apartment buildings while retaining tenants. Council has directed staff to identify pilot projects for testing and further development of this incentive program.
  • A new Rental Property Standards of Maintenance Bylaw will establish a basic standard of repair for residential rental properties. The bylaw will apply to all rental units on a one-year trial basis.

Victoria Housing Strategy – Annual Review

In November 2017 staff presented the first annual review of the Victoria Housing Strategy to City Council, detailing the actions achieved since the Strategy was implemented in June 2016. The report also contained a plan for adding new items to the Strategy going forward, and outlined an approach for the development of a new inclusionary housing policy to replace the existing Bonus Density Policy. Read the staff report here.

Community Workshops

The current Victoria Housing Strategy identifies a series of annual workshops as a way to collaborate and explore new ways of achieving housing affordability in Victoria. The first workshop, held on January 18, 2017, was on Affordable Home Ownership. Attendees were from a diversity of housing related fields including non-profit housing, development, finance, government, and academia.

Attendees heard from three speakers describing models of affordable home ownership that exist in other cities and discussed what role the City can play in facilitating affordable home ownership projects. View the presentations:

BC Affordable Home Ownership Presentation
Calgary Affordable Home Ownership Presentation
Canmore Home Ownership Model Presentation

The presentations were followed by a workshop. Participants were asked to identify which of the models could work in Victoria and what else needs to happen to help the City improve affordable home ownership. Read the engagement summary and detailed feedback here.