Victoria Housing Reserve Fund

 

Funding applications are now open. Next application deadline is March 31, 2019

 

The city anticipates that requests for funding will exceed total funding available. All new applications received on or before March 31, 2019 will be assessed concurrently based on the criteria and priorities outlined in the program guidelines [PDF - 112 KB]. Grant approval is at Council's sole discretion and subject to available funding.

 About the Fund

The Victoria Housing Reserve Fund was established for the purpose of providing grants for funding to assist in the development and retention of affordable housing for households with low or moderate incomes to support community diversity and infrastructure; and to facilitate the development of affordable rental housing and affordable home ownership projects.

Recent Updates

As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to address affordable housing in Victoria and address the increase in applications the City has received to the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund, a number of updates have been made to the fund guidelines including:

  • prioritizing projects with low income housing units
  • only funding projects within the City of Victoria proper
  • prioritizing projects that provide housing for persons with disabilities, individuals and families who are either experiencing homelessness or are at risk
  • prioritizing projects that have affordability in perpetuity

Beginning in 2019, two intake dates (March 31 and September 30) will allow applications to be evaluated concurrently. The fund will require projects to adhere to the City’s Tenant Assistance Policy.

Council will consider increasing the fund amount from $250,000 to $1 million annually as part of the 2019 financial planning process.

Funding

Maximum funding for eligible projects under this program is allocated on a per unit basis as follows:

 

1 bedroom unit

2 bedroom unit

3+ bedroom unit

Low income rental

$10,000

$20,000

$30,000

Moderate income rental

$5,000

$10,000

$15,000

Affordable home ownership

$5,000

$10,000

$15,000

*conditions apply – see guidelines for more details

Should construction of a project for which a grant is approved not commence within two years of the Development Permit approval, or should a Development Permit in respect of an approved project not be issued within two years of Council's approval of the grant, the approved grant shall be rescinded.

The City reserves the right to accept or reject any application for funding without limitation.

Who can apply?

Typically, eligible applicants must be a registered non-profit society or partner with a registered non-profit society that will own and operate the housing. Exceptions may apply for affordable home ownership projects, where it can be demonstrated that funding will directly offset the price of unit purchase; however, several restrictions apply. If you are not a registered non-profit society, please contact the City of Victoria to determine eligibility prior to submitting a funding application.

For complete program rules and eligibility requirements, please review the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund Guidelines [PDF - 112 KB].

Documents 

Project Eligibility

Priority for project funding will be based on a consideration of the following criteria:

  • Projects that include leveraging and partnerships with other government funding agencies, private industry, community agencies and/or individuals
  • Projects that target housing for low or moderate income households (definition below)
  • Projects that address the housing needs of families with dependent children, women and children, youth, and the chronically homeless
  • Projects in the City of Victoria
  • Proponents with a proven track record of developing and operating affordable housing

Definitions

Low Income

For the purpose of the definition of low income households in this policy, the City endorses the Housing Income Limits as published by BC Housing on an annual basis. Current Housing Income Limits for Victoria can be found on BC Housing’s website.

Moderate Income

Households with incomes below the Victoria CMA median income are considered to be moderate income for the purposes of this policy.

Affordable Housing

The City of Victoria defines affordable housing as costing no more than 30% of gross household income.

Application Procedure

  1. The proponent calls or meets with the designated staff representative to determine project eligibility
  2. Once it is determined that the project can be considered within the program, the proponent is directed to proceed with a full application
  3. The Administrator evaluates and scores the application using  the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund Guidelines
  4. The administrator calls or requests a meeting with the proponent to discuss the application, including any outstanding questions, change requests, potential funding eligibility after application review, and to select a target Committee of the Whole date for Council approval if application deemed supportable
  5. The Administrator submits the evaluation of the application and a recommendation report to Council for consideration, upon which Council will either approve or reject the recommendation, or request that the Administrator provide further information.

Approval of funding under this program does not limit Council's decision making with regard to Rezoning, Development Variance or Development Permit or any other approvals.

Development Cost Charges

All housing projects will be required to pay all applicable City fees and Development Cost Charges.