The redevelopment of the Pacifica Housing complex at Oak Park on Goldstream Avenue includes a four-storey building in the first phase, which will add 64 homes to the affordable rental housing pool in Langford. A News letter writer says Victoria could do better on helping create more affordable units in the city. Courtesy Pacifica Housing

The redevelopment of the Pacifica Housing complex at Oak Park on Goldstream Avenue includes a four-storey building in the first phase, which will add 64 homes to the affordable rental housing pool in Langford. A News letter writer says Victoria could do better on helping create more affordable units in the city. Courtesy Pacifica Housing

Victoria council needs to change development policy to create more affordable housing

Building in rules requiring that a percentage of new units be below-market cost would help

So Victoria city council is looking for ways to create more affordable housing within city limits.

One cost-effective option would be to require all new building projects, or hotels converting to rental apartments, to set aside a certain percentage for below market rate housing. The mayor and council should make a 10-to 15-per-cent rate a condition for approving permits. That should also be a requirement for future permits for non-rental housing, whether it is condos or single-family homes – a percentage must be set aside for low-income families.

That is the case in Langford, and such a requirement does not keep developers out of that city; it would not keep them out of Victoria or any other municipality.

They should also lobby for grants for housing from the BC NDP and federal Liberals, since both campaigned on investing in affordable housing. Any grants so given should be used to help non-profit organizations such as Pacifica Housing and Cool Aid, as both are committed and experienced in building housing for those who are low income.

Removing the minimum size requirement was no way to approach the affordable housing squeeze. How does that assure housing will be more affordable? People could end up paying two arms and two legs to live in an overrated closet, and Lisa Helps campaigned on making better decisions than Dean Fortin. Perhaps she is finding that easier said than done. I wonder if the former mayor of Victoria will try to get his job back next year?

Andre Mollon

Langford

affordable housing