Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board approved its 2018 Regional Housing Affordability Strategy (RHAS) today. The renewed strategy reflects the CRD’s emergent role in addressing housing affordability and homelessness while responding to changing housing market conditions and evolving government housing programs and policies.
“Housing remains a serious concern across the region and the CRD has an important role to play,” said CRD Board Chair Steve Price. “This strategy is a prime example of how we are working to address issues related to housing affordability now and into the future.”
The renewed Regional Housing Affordability Strategy, including its goals, objectives and strategies, have been identified through a process of review and consultation with the development and rental industry, housing providers and local, provincial and federal agencies. Its five goals are:
- Build the right supply of housing across the spectrum.
- Sustain a shared regional response to existing and emerging housing demand.
- Protect and maintain existing non-market and market rental housing stock.
- Develop and operationalize a regionally coordinated housing and homelessness response.
- Create community understanding and support for affordable housing developments.
Projections of future housing demand suggests significant potential gaps in housing supply to meet the needs of very low, low and low-to-moderate income households and continued issues with affordability within the general market.
The review builds on the collection and analysis of data to identify key goals and ensure greater understanding of issues related to housing affordability across the region. Data related to local incomes, housing costs and availability helps support the identification of priorities with respect to the development of housing across the spectrum, with special attention to affordability in the various areas of the region.
The CRD shares expertise and engages in research and analysis to support effective planning and collaboration with local governments, community and housing providers, private industry and funders. The review shows how past CRD actions have been able to prevent an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness while also helping improve overall housing affordability.
Efforts to address housing affordability date back 40 years when the CRD established two initiatives, a Land Banking and Housing service and the Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) which have successfully contributed to the development and operation of affordable housing.
The CRD and its housing corporation now own and operate more than 1280 units in 45 projects. In addition, the Regional Housing Trust Fund has provided more than $11.7 million of funding to leverage more than $139 million of affordable housing through non-profit housing providers.
The CRD service structure in housing and health has also allowed it to support and fund the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness as well as become designated as the federally recognized entity that allocates funding under the Government of Canada’s Homeless Partnership Strategy.
In addition, these efforts allowed for the creation of the Regional Housing First Program, a unique partnership to fund and construct new affordable housing units across the region.
Implementation of the Regional Housing Affordability Strategy will set out the additional steps, appropriate policy interventions and investments needed from government to end homelessness and improve housing affordability in our region.
For more information on Regional Housing Programs, please visit: https://www.crd.bc.ca/about/what-we-do/regional-housing
View the Regional Housing Affordability Strategy - 2018 (PDF)
Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Zoe Gray, Manager
CRD Corporate Communications