Victoria Housing Reserve Fund

The Housing Reserve Fund provides grants to assist with the development and retention of affordable rental and home ownership projects for households with very low to moderate incomes.

Next Deadline: September 30, 2019

The city anticipates that requests for funding will exceed total funding available. All new applications received on or before September 30, 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.

Recent Updates

A number of updates have recently 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

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 increased funding from $250,000 to $1 million for 2019.


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




Moderate income rental




Affordable home ownership




*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of an approved project not be issued within two years of Council's approval of the grant, the approved grant shall be rescinded.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].


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


Affordable housing is defined as housing that costs no more than 30% of gross household income. For rental units targeted to very low income households, affordable housing may also be defined as housing with rents set at or below the maximum shelter allowance as defined by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

Affordable Home Ownership is defined as units developed for purchase at a cost below market value with affordability secured for a set period of time.

Very Low Income is defined as households earning no employment income and/or in receipt of Income Assistance.

Low Income is defined as households with a gross annual income at or below current Housing Income Limits (HILs), as published by BC Housing on an annual basis.

Moderate Income is defined as households with incomes at or below the latest available census data for the Victoria census metropolitan area median total income, as defined by Statistics Canada.  The median total income table by census metropolitan area is available on the Statistics Canada website

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.