Affordability Policy Political

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 Mayoral Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Saul AndersonNoneLowDNo information available.
Rob DuncanSurveyModerateASupports strategies to increase affordable infill.
Michael GeogheganSurveyHighASupports strategies to increase affordable infill.
Stephen HammondInterviewHighCFavors protecting neighborhoods. No specific affordability policies.
Lisa HelpsSurvey, InterviewHighASupports affordable policies. High infill approval record (95%).
David A. JohnstonSurveyLowCConsiders affordability a low priority.
Bruce McGuiganSurvey, InterviewLowDOpposes infill. No specific affordability plan.
RyMoNoneLowDNo useful information available.
Alexander SchmidNoneLowDNo affordability plan.
Krysztof ZmudaNoneLowDNo affordability plan.


Victoria Council Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Gary AlbertsNoneMediumDNo affordability plan.
Marianne AltoPlanHighAMulti-facetted affordability plan. High (95%) development approval rating.
Stephen AndrewNoneMediumDNo affordability plan.
Darlene ArchibaldNoneLowDNo affordability plan.
Laurel CollinsSurvey, PlanHighASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
Sharmarke DubowSurvey, PlanHighASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
Steve FilipovicSurveyLowBSupports some affordability strategies.
Marg GardinerSurveyMediumCFavors protecting neighborhoods from infill.
Riga GodronNoneLowDNo specific affordability plan.
James HarasymowNoneLowDProposes “nano-housing” and increased parking.
Rose HenryNoneLowNo information available.
Ben IsittSurveyHighBSupports low-income affordability, but poor infill development approval record (63%).
Jesse JimenezNoneLowNo information available.
Randie JohalNoneMediumCNo specific affordability plan.
Edison KahakauwilaNoneLowNo information available.
Anna KingNoneMediumASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
Sean LeitenbergSurveyMediumBSupports inclusionary zoning, some infill, and other development costs reduction strategies.
Grace LoreSurveyHighAStrong commitment to affordable infill, particularly for families.
Jeremy LovedaySurveyHighASupports affordable infill. Has a moderate (76%) infill development approval record.
Pam MadoffNoneHighDNo specific affordability plan, and poor (55%) infill development approval record.
Delmar MartayNoneLowNo information available.
Sarah PottsSurvey, PlanHighASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
Andrew ReeveSurveyMediumASupports infill and other affordable infill policies.
Jordan ReichertNoneMediumBSupports various affordability strategies
Ted SmithNoneMediumCSupports high density on the Douglas Street corridor.
Doug StewartNoneLowNo information available.
William TateNoneLowNo information available.
Charlayne    Thornton-JoeSurveyHighASupports infill and affordability strategies. Moderate (71%) development approval record.
Geoff YoungNoneHighDNo specific affordability plan and very poor (50%) infill development approval record.



Saanich Mayoral Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Richard AtwellNoneHighBSupports “smart densification,” faster project approvals, and legalizing secondary suites.
Fred HaynesSurveyHighASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
David ShebibNoneLowNo information available.
Rob WicksonSurveyHighASupports affordable housing strategies.



Saanich Council Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Benjamin AllanSurveyMediumASupports infill and reduced parking requirements.
Trevor BarrySurveyMediumASupports infill and reduced parking requirements.
Susan BriceNoneHighBSupports affordable housing in walkable urban villages. No specific policies.
Judy BrownoffNoneHighBSupports infill in Centres, Villages and Corridors.
Kathleen BurtonNoneMediumBSupports “smart densification.”
Nathalie ChambersSurveyMediumBSupports low-income affordability strategies.
Zac de VriesSurveyHighASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
Karen HarperNoneMediumBSupports “smart densification.”
Ian JessopNoneMediumBSupports “smart densification.”
Vernon LordNoneLowCConcerned about homelessness, but has no plans to address other affordability issues.
Rebecca MersereauSurveyHighASupports for infill and other affordability strategies.
Cory MontgomeryNoneMediumBSupports “smart densification.”
Shawn NewbySurveyMediumASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
Teale Phelps BondaroffSurveyHighASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
Colin PlantSurveyHighASupports infill and other affordability strategies.
Art PollardSurveyMediumBSupports more student and rental housing, and examining secondary suite policies.
Rishi SharmaNoneLowBSupports plan to consider more affordable options.
Ned TaylorSurveyMediumASupports infill and other affordability strategies.


Oak Bay

Oak Bay Mayoral Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Nils JensenSurveyHighCSupports modest infill.
Kevin MurdochNoneHighBSupports a municipal plan to increase housing options.



Oak Bay Council Candidates Affordability Evaluation

Andrew AppletonSurveyMediumBSupports “gentle density,” particularly in village areas.
Hazel BraithwaiteNoneHighCSupports only modest infill.
Anton BrakhageNoneMediumASupports more affordable housing options.
Cairine GreenSurveyMediumCPrimarily concerned with protecting neighborhoods.
Isabella LeeNoneMediumBSupports affordability, but has no specific plans.
Tara NeySurveyHighBSupports allowing more secondary suites and duplexes.
Esther PatersonNoneMediumCNo goals or plans for increasing affordability.
Andrew StinsonSurveyMediumASupports affordable infill housing strategies.
Ronald TelferNoneLowNo information available.
Eric ZhelkaSurveyHighCSupports 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 AffordabilityLow-income Affordability“Protect Neighborhoods”Unconcerned        or Unclear


MayorLisa Helps

Michael Geoghegan

Rob Duncan

David A. Johnston

Stephen Hammond

Bruce McGuigan

Saul Anderson


Alexander Schmid

Krysztof Zmuda



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


MayorFred Haynes

Rob Wickson

Richard AtwellDavid Shebib


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

MayorKevin MurdochNils Jensen


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

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