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)

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.

Policy + Protection: How municipalities can increase density while protecting tenants

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.

Join us from 12-1:30pm PST on September 28th for a solutions-based conversation.

This is a chance for you to have your ideas heard and share in dialogue on an important issue facing our community. The objective of this conversation is to identify ways in which we can

  • Provide strong tenant protections/displacement supports while
  • Increasing housing supply and thereby addressing the systemic shortage of housing.

Speakers at this event will include

  • 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
  • Person with lived experience of renting in Greater Victoria

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

Register here: bit.ly/DisplacementProtectionEvent

Filling the Gap: analytics to support housing for all in Greater Victoria

Piloting the HART Method in Greater Victoria

What is affordable? Affordable for whom? When is affordability not enough? These questions are at the core of housing needs assessments that allow governments to meet the housing needs of everyone in the region.

The HART Method, developed by UBC's Housing Research Collaborative, offers an approach to determining local housing needs that includes housing size, the need for accessible homes, and the maximum costs for rent at specific income levels.

The Community Social Planning Council has piloted the HART Method of developing housing needs assessments for five areas in Greater Victoria.* Filling the Gap explores the HART Method and highlights the variations in local need by looking specifically at the municipalities of Sooke, Esquimalt, Saanich, and the City of Victoria in comparison to Greater Victoria.

Speakers at the event on September 20, 2022 included

  • Carolyn Whitzman PhD, Invited Professor at the University of Ottawa and expert advisor to the UBC Housing Research Collaborative
  • Nicole Chaland, housing researcher and paper co-author
  • Luna, Homes for Living community advocate

Filling the Gap invitates discussion on the methodology and its local findings. It is part of the Community Council's ongoing series on housing affordability.

* The initial report uses 2016 census data as 2021 data had not yet been released during the report's writing. CSPC will update the analysis with current data when it is available.

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

Income disparity in Greater Victoria

On July 13, 2022 Statistics Canada released data from the 2021 Census that included a portrait of Canada’s families and households, and an income profile of Canadian households. This data update contained both good news and bad news for residents of Greater Victoria.

The good news? Incomes are rising for everyone from the lowest income levels (i.e. households with an income that is 50% or less of the regional median) to the highest (i.e. households with an income that is 120% or more of the regional median). As well, the median income in Greater Victoria is higher than the provincial median and very close to the national median.

The bad news? Incomes are rising more quickly for the people who are already making the most money. This means that people are making more money but have less left over for food, transportation, clothing, and other needs after meeting their housing costs.

Click this image to read the full 2 page infographic

Sources: 

Statistics Canada, July 13 Census data release: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2021/dp-pd/index-eng.cfm

Drivers of Homelessness event & report launch

On June 22, 2022 local, provincial, and national experts on housing and homelessness discussed the CSPC's new report, Drivers of Homelessness: Findings for Action.

Speakers at the event included

  • Esther de Vos, Executive Director of Research for BC Housing;
  • Erin Dej, Assistant Professor at Wilfred Laurier University and researcher with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness;
  • Hannah Mang-Wooley, Tenant Legal Advocate at Together Against Poverty Society.

Drivers of Homelessness answers key questions and dissolves persistent myths regarding the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis in Greater Victoria:

  • What are the most important structural and systemic factors that contribute to homelessness?
  • How can we prevent homelessness by addressing these structural and systemic factors?
  • How does early intervention fit into a broader homelessness prevention framework?

This event will include the launch of a SPARC BC funded report that examines the drivers of homelessness in Greater Victoria through the analysis of CSPC’s homelessness prevention program The report will inform evidence-based conversations in the public and the media and support local policymakers in preventing and ending homelessness in our region.

View the full report: Drivers of Homelessness Report

New personal ID service helps people move out of homelessness

The Community Social Planning Council announces a new service for people in need and those supporting them. The Greater Victoria Coordinated ID Services offer assistance applying for ID, coverage of application fees, and safe ID storage. More details are available at communitycouncil.ca/Id-service and in the full release below.

Launch Press Release