CMHC reports housing starts are up 49% from 2,347 (Jan to Sept 2020) to 3,488 (Jan to Sept 2021). The total new homes for September was 416 vs last year’s 193.

While rising starts are encouraging, Greater Victoria has been facing housing challenges for some time, resulting in an average price of $1.2 million for a single family home.

Housing Needs Reports already demonstrated obstructive development processes in many municipalities including Saanich, Oak Bay and Victoria resulting in housing supply shortages worsened by the covid pandemic.

Demand side policies by the BC government, including a myriad of taxes, have proven to be misguided and ineffective, while they ignore addressing  supply shortages caused by municipal obstruction.

VRBA did a recent presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services outlining the challenges, starting with BC’s policy of municipal self-determination.

Other countries such as New Zealand and U.S. states such as Oregon are overriding municipal authority to expedite new housing, creating more density for supply and affordability.

For example, there is a total of 19 single family homes constructed this year in Oak Bay, yet zero townhomes, duplexes or condominiums. Most duplexes were built decades ago and are non-conforming to existing zoning bylaws. This contributes to rising prices and the existing housing crisis.