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Fill Gap In Housing Analysis

A study revealing a gap in housing affordability has been the subject of discussions at the CRD.

The complaint is industry is building insufficient affordable housing.

Affordability is a challenge in our region, but the reasons often seem to elude government.

An understanding of housing requires input from developers and builders with real-world experience in the market.

For example, the CRD report shows Langford’s 30% population growth far outpaces other municipalities.

The reason is Langford zones for growth and therefore higher density.

Small-lot subdivisions are approved to reduce land costs and increase affordability for young families.

The majority of new affordable, energy-efficient, single detached housing is in Langford.

On the other hand, population growth in the CRD’s Peninsula region has averaged under 2%.

The CRD’s main affordability challenge is the reluctance by some municipalities to rezone for growth.

Well-planned density creates affordability, vibrant local businesses, skilled employment, and efficient transportation systems – points VRBA made in a Regional Sustainability Strategy submission to the CRD.

Even on rare occasions when density is approved, costly amenities are demanded by municipalities increasing the price of new homes.

There must be greater acceptance of density and more control on government costs including amenities, code regulations, fees and taxes – now representing 20%+ on the price of a new home.

There are housing gaps in the CRD, and the first gap to fill is understanding the market.

Visit us at vrba.ca and careawards.ca. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

This weekly column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.

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