LETTER: Saanich needs an affordable housing strategy

We are in the midst of a housing crisis unfortunately, and Saanich has thus far not done enough to address this issue.

READ ALSO: Saanich councillor says proposed housing forum asks the community for solutions

Saanich is a district without a shelter or proactive plan on housing access and affordability. It recently expanded the number of parks with overnight shelter bans and has failed to identify appropriate land with which to take advantage of government supportive housing programs.

Meanwhile, Saanich remains one of the most expensive real estate markets in Canada and has an extremely low rental vacancy rate.

READ ALSO: Saanich to revisit ‘discriminatory’ occupancy bylaw

Despite these numerous challenges, the recent Saanich budget only mentions affordable housing once and adds a meager amount to the affordable housing fund.

Saanich continues to rely on the Official Community Plan to set its policy with respect to affordable housing, and this document is over a decade old. While commendable efforts have been undertaken, such as adjustments to secondary suite regulations, contributions to a small number of projects from the affordable housing fund and a recent proposal to hold a housing forum, the approach appears largely piecemeal.

We need to be proactive in tackling the housing crisis, but without a plan, Saanich’s approach will continue to be fragmentary and ultimately inadequate.

The City of Victoria has had a housing strategy since 2016, and though not perfect, this plan sets out a deliberate approach to addressing the housing issue.

READ ALSO: Housing strategy aims to eliminate homelessness in Victoria

It’s time that Saanich developed a comprehensive affordable housing strategy as well.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Saanich councillor asks District to stand in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Coun. Nathalie Chambers duplicates ‘tried and true motion’ passed by Victoria in January

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

Crews respond to house fire in Langford Monday night

Fire near Glen Lake Road and Haslam Avenue

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read