Our Affordable and Inclusive Neighbourhood Action Plan

Our Affordable and Inclusive Neighbourhood Action Plan describes eight local and regional policies that can significantly increase moderate-priced infill in walkable urban neighborhoods, which increases affordability and inclusivity, in order to achieve our local and regional affordable housing goals.

1. Pre-zone areas designated for multi-family in the Official Community Plan (OCP). This will reduce infill development costs, increasing moderate-priced project feasibility.

Victoria’s zoning codes have not been revised to reflect Official Community Plan density targets, which adds costs, delay and uncertainty to affordable infill development.

2. Allow an additional story for corner lots, larger lots (at least 1,000 square meters), and on busier streets (arterials or subarterials). These are locations where taller buildings have less impact on neighbours.

3. Exempt moderate-priced housing from inclusivity mandates. This encourages developers to build more moderate-price units, which directly increases affordability for moderate-income households, and for lower-income households through filtering.

4. Reduce fees and approval requirements for smaller and moderate-priced infill developments, since these are the projects we most need.

5. Reduce or eliminate parking requirements and require or encourage unbundling (parking rented separately from housing units), so residents are not forced to pay for parking spaces they do not need. Many cities are doing this now to increase affordability, allow more compact development and reduce traffic problems.

Progress on Parking Minimum Removals 

6. Allow higher densities and building heights in exchange for more affordable units. Target densities can be applied in accessible locations, for example, at least three stories along minor arterials and four stories along major arterials.

7. Mandate or reward energy-efficient housing, and support efficiency retrofits of existing homes. Building energy is a major financial cost and source of emissions, so improving efficiency helps achieve affordability and environmental goals.

8. Improve affordable housing design. Municipal governments can support design contests and workshops to encourage better design. The Affordable Housing Design Advisor, the Missing Middle Website, and Portland’s Infill Design Project provide affordable housing design resources.

9. Subsidize housing for people with special needs, including those with disabilities and low incomes.

Compact and affordable housing in Victoria.

This document also includes answers to these frequently asked questions:

How Much and What Type of Housing is Needed?

Why Favor Infill Development Over Sprawl?

How Much Can These Policies Reduce Development Costs?

How Can We Ensure that Savings are Passed on to Households?

Where Has This Worked?

Where are examples of Bold Affordability Actions?

What is Victoria Doing?

Who Wins? Who Loses?

Where is More Information?

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