Victoria council is considering a policy where 30% of new strata units must meet the city’s affordability criteria.

The Times Colonist reports, “It’s a number that far exceeds the 10% affordable in large projects recommended by staff and one that even the city’s own consultant said would see development in the city grind to a halt.”

Victoria is already experiencing a declining housing market.

There were 25% fewer homes sold in 2018 compared with 2017, mostly due to the mortgage stress test eliminating 20% of buyers’ purchasing power.

Canadian home prices fell in March 2019 for the sixth straight month including -1.1% in Victoria.

Victoria council’s report says vacancy rentals are rising. Their report also says young families are moving outside of the city.

The shift is to Langford where 60% of all new rentals and 40% of all new housing were built last year while housing starts declined in Victoria.

Langford’s strong supply is due to efficient development processes creating developer confidence and significantly lower costs.

Victoria’s policy will result in higher costs and erode confidence.

The report also says there are presently 15 rezoning applications in Victoria offering eleven million dollars in contributions and more than 500 rental units.

The provincial and federal governments already collect billions of dollars in Property Transfer Tax and GST and provide affordable housing through BC Housing, CMHC and non-profits.

Clearly, Victoria’s new housing policy is out of sync with the market and only adds to costs, from which the city is already benefiting significantly.

Homebuyers don’t need more municipal costs added to their mortgages, already challenged by high fees, taxes and the stress test.

Here is our letter to council opposing the policy.

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist. 

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Here is VRBA’s letter to Victoria Council regarding their proposed housing policy.