Affordability Targets Needed as David Eby Releases Housing Plan

Community Council report spotlights the need for affordability targets as David Eby announces B.C. affordable housing plan

GREATER VICTORIA: The Community social planning Council is pleased to see action provincially on housing.

The announcement of the move towards setting housing targets is welcome but there has been no mention of how affordability will be part of those targets. A recent report from the Community Council on housing needs data: Filling the Gap identifies the serious need for housing for households with lower incomes.

"This legislation will move the needle on the housing crisis if the housing targets specify not just how much, but also who needs housing, what kind, and at what cost." says report author, Nicole Chaland, "If the targets do not specify this, aiming at them will be like shooting in the dark." 

The report shows that in Greater Victoria there is an existing deficit of nearly 3,500 homes that rent for $375 each month and 14,200 homes that rent for less than $875 monthly.

"We have seen that supply alone is not going to resolve the housing crisis," says Diana Gibson, Executive Director of the Community Council, "Housing costs were a key factor in the living wage jumping 20% this year - affordability needs to be a strong focus in any targets that are set by the government."

The report partners with the HART (Housing Assessment Resource Tools) project based at the University of British Columbia. Hart is developing standardized ways to measure and address housing need, with a focus on improving the balanced supply of housing.  

According to Craig Jones, HART Coordinator, "provincial-municipal targets will need to be linked to robust, equity-focused, data. " He adds, "Our tool measures housing need by income group with intersectionality that allows us to look at housing needs for priority populations such as single parents."

Victoria

(City of Victoria)

Eqsuimalt

(Township of Esquimalt)

Saanich

(District of Saanich)

Greater Victoria Living Wage Report 2022

The Living Wage is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children must each earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child-care, medical needs, food, and transportation), once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account. The Living Wage for our region is calculated annually by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC). At $24.29/hour the 2022 Living Wage for Greater Victoria is a $3.83 increase from the 2021 rate. As those in the region can attest, the cost of living continues to soar.

Living Wage Report 2022 Event

The Living Wage is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children must each earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child-care, medical needs, food, and transportation), once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account. The Living Wage for our region is calculated annually by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC).

As those in the region can attest, the cost of living continues to soar.

Join us on November 17, 2022, from 12-1pm to discuss the living wage, and ways in which we can make life more affordable in our region.

Guest speakers at the event will consist of a panel of Living Wage advocates, community members, and local business owners.

This event is part of the CSPC's continuing dialogue on affordability and is in partnership with the United Way.

The CSPC acknowledges the Songhees, Esquimalt, Tsartlip/W̱JOȽEȽP, Tseycum/WSIḴEM, Tsawout/SȾÁUTW, Pauquachin/BOḰEĆEN, T’Sou-ke, Scia’new and Pacheedaht Nations who have a historical and ongoing relationship to the land where our offices and work are based. We commit to active listening and humility in working with Indigenous Peoples.

Making Affordable Housing Happen: Non-profit Solutions for Cities

What is affordable? What can municipalities and the non-profit sector do to help achieve affordability?

Housing affordability has been out of reach for many people living in our communities for a substantial period of time. A change to the status quo is necessary in order to develop a healthy economy where housing serves as a home and a place of shelter, not just an asset.

Join us from 12:30-2pm PST on November 16th as municipal leaders in the non-profit field discuss non-market solutions to the housing crisis. Past reports and webinars such as the Housing Needs Assessment, Drivers of Homelessness, and Tenant Displacement Protection will provide a base for much of the conversation.

Stick around for the last 30 minutes of the webinar for the Community Social Planning Council's AGM.

Speakers at the event will include:

  • Jill Atkey, CEO of BC Non-profit Housing Association
  • Kathy Stinson, CEO, Cool Aid Society
  • Carolina Ibarra, CEO, Pacifica Housing
  • Corinne Saad, Executive Director, Gorge View Society

This event is part of the CSPC's continuing dialogue on housing affordability, learn about our initiatives here.

Watch the recording here

The CSPC acknowledges the Songhees, Esquimalt, Tsartlip/W̱JOȽEȽP, Tseycum/WSIḴEM, Tsawout/SȾÁUTW, Pauquachin/BOḰEĆEN, T’Sou-ke, Scia’new and Pacheedaht Nations who have a historical and ongoing relationship to the land where our offices and work are based. We commit to active listening and humility in working with Indigenous Peoples.

Recording: Policy + Protection Event

WATCH THE RECORDING HERE

In a push to increase housing supply, tenant displacement, increased rental costs, and decreased access are often unintended consequences. However, local governments can implement policies that help to minimize these negative effects.

This event was part of the CSPC's continuing dialogue on Housing Affordability and was co-hosted by Livable Victoria.

The following guest speakers were present at the event:

- Julian West, Missing Middle Housing & Sustainable Transportation
- Doug King, Together Against Poverty Society
- Aleida Blandford, Tenant Protections & Community Engagement
- Jordan Milne, Urban Land Economics, Rental Housing, & Mixed-Use Development
- Jenna Hrechka, Tenant perspectives/experiences

Curious about some of the language used during the session? Check out the definitions below and view the City of Victoria's Tenant Assistance Policy.

TAP: Tenant Assistance Policy.

First-Right-of-Refusal: As part of the TAP, the right of qualifying tenants who were displaced by redevelopment the option to return to a unit at the new building, generally at a below market rate (currently 20% below market rents in the City of Victoria).

FSR: Floor Space Ratio. A measure of density, measured by gross building floor area to lot size.

Missing Middle Housing

On August 4, The Community Social Planning Council share this presentaiton to Victoria Council, highlighting support for the Missing Middle Housing Initiative in Victoria.

Here are three key points of the Missing Middle Housing Initiative:

  1. This initiative will increase housing supply in terms of sheer numbers and housing type options.
  2. Increased density has a positive impact on our climate.
  3. Housing that is inclusive for families, seniors, and those living with disabilities.

Watch the video to learn more!

Drivers of Homelessness Event Video

On June 22, local, provincial, and national experts on housing and homelessness discussed “Drivers of Homelessness: Findings for Action” – a new report authored by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC) and funded by SPARC-BC.

The report shows how structural factors and systems failures interact with personal crises to drive people towards homelessness. The risk of entering homelessness is widespread; and many households are just one personal crisis away from entering homelessness due to the prevailing structural and systemic conditions. Other key findings show that homelessness prevention works. The large majority of individuals who accessed CSPC programs were at imminent risk of homelessness and would have likely entered homelessness without support.

Watch the full video to learn more!

Infographic: CSPC_Drivers-of-Homelessness-ExecSumm.pdf

View the full report: CSPC_Drivers of Homelessness Report_2022_R3

Press Release: Event Press Release.docx

Video: Drivers of Homelessness Recording