City Takes Giant Step to Encourage More Rental Housing
April 20, 2017
VICTORIA, BC – Last night, City Council voted to allow garden suites outright in single-family zones across the City. With 6,744 single family dwellings in the City this move has the potential to substantially increase the city’s rental stock in a very tight market. Until now, garden suite applications have been evaluated by Council on a case-by-case basis through the rezoning process. This change will make it significantly easier and less costly for homeowners to build new garden suites.
“I’m thrilled to see Council take this significant step to implement the work done by the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability,” said Mayor Helps. “While we won’t see the potential fulfilled overnight, with this change we are significantly reducing the red tape involved in building a small backyard rental home.”
Prior to adopting these changes, the City consulted with a wide range of stakeholders and the public. In order to address privacy concerns, Council added a section to the guidelines to optimize privacy between neighbours, including recommendations for windows facing away from neighbouring properties and no rooftop outdoor space allowed.
This change is part of the City’s ambitious Victoria Housing Strategy, 2016 - 2025, which is the City’s plan for improving housing affordability over the next decade by:
- Increasing the supply of housing for low to moderate income households
- Encouraging diversity of housing types, tenures, and prices across the city and within neighbourhoods
- Building awareness and partnerships for affordable housing through communication, education and advocacy