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."
(City of Victoria)
(Township of Esquimalt)
(District of Saanich)