Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay Candidates’ Affordability Ratings

Affordability is an important issue in the 2018 municipal election. Many lower- and middle-income households spend more than they can afford on housing and transportation, leaving insufficient money to spend on other essential goods such as food and healthcare. Solving this problem requires local policy changes which increase development of affordable housing types (secondary suites, multiplexes, townhouses and low-rise apartments) in walkable urban neighborhoods. This will require municipal government action.

To help voters evaluate candidates’ positions on affordability, Cities for Everyone surveyed mayor and city council candidates in Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay. Of 93 candidates contacted we received 31 completed surveys. We also analyzed candidates’ websites and interviews, and incumbents’ voting records (see graph below), and their electability based on name recognition and the quality of their campaign. This column summarizes our results (click here for PDF version).

Victoria Mayor & Council Infill Development Approval Rates

This graph compares infill development approval ratings. More infill tends to increase middle-income affordability.

 

The following tables show information sources consulted, electability assessment, overall affordability rating (A is best) and notes for mayoral and council candidates in Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay.

Victoria

Victoria Mayoral Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Candidate Sources Electability Rating Notes
Saul Anderson None Low D No information available.
Rob Duncan Survey Moderate A Supports strategies to increase affordable infill.
Michael Geoghegan Survey High A Supports strategies to increase affordable infill.
Stephen Hammond Interview High C Favors protecting neighborhoods. No specific affordability policies.
Lisa Helps Survey, Interview High A Supports affordable policies. High infill approval record (95%).
David A. Johnston Survey Low C Considers affordability a low priority.
Bruce McGuigan Survey, Interview Low D Opposes infill. No specific affordability plan.
RyMo None Low D No useful information available.
Alexander Schmid None Low D No affordability plan.
Krysztof Zmuda None Low D No affordability plan.

 

Victoria Council Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Candidate Sources Electability Rating Notes
Gary Alberts None Medium D No affordability plan.
Marianne Alto Plan High A Multi-facetted affordability plan. High (95%) development approval rating.
Stephen Andrew None Medium D No affordability plan.
Darlene Archibald None Low D No affordability plan.
Laurel Collins Survey, Plan High A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
Sharmarke Dubow Survey, Plan High A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
Steve Filipovic Survey Low B Supports some affordability strategies.
Marg Gardiner Survey Medium C Favors protecting neighborhoods from infill.
Riga Godron None Low D No specific affordability plan.
James Harasymow None Low D Proposes “nano-housing” and increased parking.
Rose Henry None Low No information available.
Ben Isitt Survey High B Supports low-income affordability, but poor infill development approval record (63%).
Jesse Jimenez None Low No information available.
Randie Johal None Medium C No specific affordability plan.
Edison Kahakauwila None Low No information available.
Anna King None Medium A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
Sean Leitenberg Survey Medium B Supports inclusionary zoning, some infill, and other development costs reduction strategies.
Grace Lore Survey High A Strong commitment to affordable infill, particularly for families.
Jeremy Loveday Survey High A Supports affordable infill. Has a moderate (76%) infill development approval record.
Pam Madoff None High D No specific affordability plan, and poor (55%) infill development approval record.
Delmar Martay None Low No information available.
Sarah Potts Survey, Plan High A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
Andrew Reeve Survey Medium A Supports infill and other affordable infill policies.
Jordan Reichert None Medium B Supports various affordability strategies
Ted Smith None Medium C Supports high density on the Douglas Street corridor.
Doug Stewart None Low No information available.
William Tate None Low No information available.
Charlayne    Thornton-Joe Survey High A Supports infill and affordability strategies. Moderate (71%) development approval record.
Geoff Young None High D No specific affordability plan and very poor (50%) infill development approval record.

 

Saanich

Saanich Mayoral Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Candidate Sources Electability Rating Notes
Richard Atwell None High B Supports “smart densification,” faster project approvals, and legalizing secondary suites.
Fred Haynes Survey High A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
David Shebib None Low No information available.
Rob Wickson Survey High A Supports affordable housing strategies.

 

 

Saanich Council Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Candidate Sources Electability Rating Notes
Benjamin Allan Survey Medium A Supports infill and reduced parking requirements.
Trevor Barry Survey Medium A Supports infill and reduced parking requirements.
Susan Brice None High B Supports affordable housing in walkable urban villages. No specific policies.
Judy Brownoff None High B Supports infill in Centres, Villages and Corridors.
Kathleen Burton None Medium B Supports “smart densification.”
Nathalie Chambers Survey Medium B Supports low-income affordability strategies.
Zac de Vries Survey High A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
Karen Harper None Medium B Supports “smart densification.”
Ian Jessop None Medium B Supports “smart densification.”
Vernon Lord None Low C Concerned about homelessness, but has no plans to address other affordability issues.
Rebecca Mersereau Survey High A Supports for infill and other affordability strategies.
Cory Montgomery None Medium B Supports “smart densification.”
Shawn Newby Survey Medium A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
Teale Phelps Bondaroff Survey High A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
Colin Plant Survey High A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.
Art Pollard Survey Medium B Supports more student and rental housing, and examining secondary suite policies.
Rishi Sharma None Low B Supports plan to consider more affordable options.
Ned Taylor Survey Medium A Supports infill and other affordability strategies.

 

Oak Bay

Oak Bay Mayoral Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Candidate Sources Electability Rating Notes
Nils Jensen Survey High C Supports modest infill.
Kevin Murdoch None High B Supports a municipal plan to increase housing options.

 

 

Oak Bay Council Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Candidate Sources Electability Rating Notes
Andrew Appleton Survey Medium B Supports “gentle density,” particularly in village areas.
Hazel Braithwaite None High C Supports only modest infill.
Anton Brakhage None Medium A Supports more affordable housing options.
Cairine Green Survey Medium C Primarily concerned with protecting neighborhoods.
Isabella Lee None Medium B Supports affordability, but has no specific plans.
Tara Ney Survey High B Supports allowing more secondary suites and duplexes.
Esther Paterson None Medium C No goals or plans for increasing affordability.
Andrew Stinson Survey Medium A Supports affordable infill housing strategies.
Ronald Telfer None Low No information available.
Eric Zhelka Survey High C Supports only modest infill.

 

 

Categorizing Candidates

When it comes to affordability policies, Candidates tend to fall into four general categories:

  1. Comprehensive affordability. Support policies that allow more compact infill in residential neighborhoods to increase low- and moderate-income affordability.
  2. Low-income affordability. Focus on subsidizing and mandating below-market housing to increase affordability for people with low incomes and special housing needs.
  3. “Protect neighborhoods.” Oppose neighborhood change and therefore affordable infill.
  4. Unconcerned or unclear. Indicate little concern or provide little information about affordability.

 

The distinction between comprehensive and low-income affordability is important because there are often trade-offs between these goals. Some policies intended to increase low-income affordability can reduce middle-income affordability, for example, if inclusionary zoning increases moderate-priced housing costs, or housing demolition prohibitions prevent development of larger buildings. Comprehensive affordability advocates support diverse infill housing, including some that is initially too costly for low-income households but increases affordability through filtering, as some low-priced housing occupants move into the new middle-priced units, and over time as the new homes depreciate.

The table below categorizes candidates’ apparent affordability priorities. Voters can use this information to select candidates that reflect their values. Overall, younger candidates tend to place higher value on affordability, while older candidates tend to be more concerned with minimizing change, but there are, of course, exceptions.

 

Candidates Categorized by Their Affordability Priorities

 

  Comprehensive Affordability Low-income Affordability “Protect Neighborhoods” Unconcerned        or Unclear

Victoria

Mayor Lisa Helps

Michael Geoghegan

Rob Duncan

David A. Johnston

Stephen Hammond

Bruce McGuigan

Saul Anderson

RyMo

Alexander Schmid

Krysztof Zmuda

Council

(eight)

Marianne Alto

Laurel Collins

Sharmarke Dubow

Anna King

Grace Lore

Jeremy Loveday

Sarah Potts

Andrew Reeve

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

Steve Filipovic

James Harasymow

Ben Isitt

Randie Johal

Sean Leitenberg

Jordan Reichert

Ted Smith

Marg Gardiner

Pam Madoff

Geoff Young

Gary Alberts

Stephen Andrew

Darlene Archibald

Riga Godron

Rose Henry

Jesse Jimenez

Edison Kahakauwila

Delmar Martay

Doug Stewart

William Tate

Saanich

Mayor Fred Haynes

Rob Wickson

Richard Atwell David Shebib
Council

(eight)

Benjamin Allan

Trevor Barry

Susan Brice

Judy Brownoff

Zac de Vries

Rebecca Mersereau

Shawn Newby

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Colin Plant

Ned Taylor

Nathalie Chambers

Vernon Lord

Art Pollard

Kathleen Burton

Karen Harper

Ian Jessop

Cory Montgomery

Rishi Sharma

Oak Bay

Mayor Kevin Murdoch Nils Jensen
Council

(six)

Andrew Appleton

Anton Brakhage

Isabella Lee

Tara Ney

Andrew Stinson

Cairine Green

Hazel Braithwaite

Eric Zhelka

Esther Paterson

Candidates tend to fit into one of four general affordability policy categories. This information can help voters choose the candidates who will best represent their priorities.

 

Below are additional questions to ask candidates concerning their affordability priorities.

Examples of Affordability Questions to Ask Candidates

  • Do you support strategies to increase both low- and middle-income affordability?
  • What will you do to ensure that any household that wants can find suitable housing in a walkable urban neighbourhood?
  • Do you support affordable travel options (walking, bicycling and public transit)? How?
  • Would you support infill development that is consistent with the Official Community Plan (OCP) but opposed by some neighbours?

 

Of course, there are other factors to consider when choosing which candidates to support. Most voters have other concerns, besides affordability. To influence results it is best to choose candidates that are electable, and will be accessible and effective policy makers.

Click here for a PDF version of the Candidates’ Affordability Rating Report.

Please let us know what you think. For questions or comments contact info@citiesforeveryone.org.

Comments

  1. […] to do that, Todd Litman at Cities for Everyone beat me to the punch, publishing a very detailed article on the housing positions of local candidates for Victoria, Oak Bay, and […]

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked*