Everyone deserves a home that accommodates their needs at a price they can afford. The City of Victoria is working on several policies to address housing supply and affordability in our community.
Visit the City’s engagement platform to learn about current and upcoming engagement opportunities on housing.
Victoria Housing Strategy 2016–2025
The Victoria Housing Strategy provides guidance for housing policies and initiatives that meet residents’ needs. We are in Phase Two of the policy, building on Phase One and Council’s Strategic Plan which was adopted in July 2019.
The strategy includes 44 actions that focus on ways to:
- improve affordability, stability and choice for renters
- encourage new housing supply
- encourage a range of housing options to meet the needs of residents
- track our progress and improve the City’s housing policies and programs
- try bold ideas to achieve new results
Inclusionary Housing Policy
The City’s Inclusionary Housing and Community Amenity Policy is one of several tools to address housing affordability under the City’s Housing Strategy.
The policy encourages the supply of new affordable housing through the creation of inclusionary housing units. These are on-site secured rental or homeownership units that meet the City’s housing affordability targets, as part of new multi-unit or mixed-use strata residential developments.
The policy also seeks cash contributions from small and moderately sized projects to the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund. Part of these contributions are also set aside for local amenity reserve funds.
In 2023, the policy was updated following a comprehensive review to ensure alignment of the fixed rate (cash-in-lieu) contribution targets for typical applications in relation to current market conditions.
Recent updates to the Inclusionary Housing and Community Amenity Policy include:
- Reduced the requirement for onsite inclusionary units to 10% and expanded options to provide cash-in-lieu
- Adjusted allocation of cash-in-lieu contributions so that 70% of contributions go towards community amenities and 30% of contributions are directed to the Housing Reserve Fund
- Removed the requirement for an economic analysis for purpose-built rental buildings, except in extenuating circumstances
Rapid Deployment of Affordable Housing
To advance the rapid deployment of affordable housing, projects by non-profit, government or co-op housing organizations will no longer require rezoning or public hearings when they are consistent with the City’s Official Community Plan, applicable design guidelines and other key qualifying criteria outlined below.
Delegated Development Permits
Under the Rapid Deployment of Affordable Housing regulatory pathway, development Permits for qualifying affordable non-market housing are delegated to staff if:
- applications are consistent with Design Guidelines previously approved by Council.
- the project meets the City’s affordable housing definition.
Qualifying applications go to the Advisory Design Panel to provide additional design insight and feedback.
Increased Density for Affordable Housing Projects
Under the Rapid Deployment of Affordable Housing regulatory pathway, qualifying projects can build to the maximum density contemplated in the Official Community Plan (OCP) without a rezoning application or Council approval if:
existing zoning allows for the proposed residential use (e.g., multiple dwelling).
- projects do not exceed the maximum density in the OCP as outlined in Schedule O of the Zoning Bylaw [PDF - 323 KB]. [PDF/2.3MB]
All projects looking to qualify under the Rapid Deployment of Affordable Housing need to meet either the Affordable Housing Development or Cooperative Housing Definition from the Zoning Bylaw and Land Use Procedures Bylaw.