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LETTER: B.C. housing targets benefit development community


In the recent article titled: “Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay must build 10K housing units in 5 years: B.C.”, it is mentioned that the mandatory targets set by the province require that “Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay have to deliver 4,902, 4,610 and 664 units, respectively.”

It also noted that: “The province said it consulted with communities on the targets over the summer and sent each a list of guidelines on the recommended number of units by size, rental-versus-owned units and below-market rental units.”

Which communities were consulted? How many people were engaged in each of the consultations? What were the questions asked in the consultations? What were the responses from the consultations?

How did the result of those consultations lead to the housing target numbers and how did it lead to those numbers only in certain municipalities?

Were the potential numbers provided to respondents in multiple-choice format only?

How did two get added to the 4,900 in the figure for Victoria? Were the two extra units needed to lead to housing affordability across the province?

Where is the math/logistics that led to these figures? What exactly are these figures supposed to accomplish in terms of affordability mathematically?

Prior to this ‘summer of consultations,’ on June 1, the UDI Capital region, a powerful lobby for development and real estate on the South Island, wrote on their website under Policy and Advocacy Updates: “UDI has been calling for the Province to set housing targets, and yesterday, Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon announced the first cohort of ten municipalities that will be receiving them. The Province will now work with these municipalities over the summer to establish individual targets, before making a public announcement.”

We may not know, or ever find out who and what communities were consulted to generate these targets this summer, but we do know for certain one community that was consulted before the summer that was pushing these targets to the province: the development community in whose financial interests these targets benefit.

In B.C. under the NDP, do communities drive the policy that affects them, or does industry?

Sasha Izard