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Affordable housing in Victoria


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#2401 Moderation

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 11:51 AM

Some info on the consultation process and bylays that might result from the City of Victoria. May help answer some of the questions here.

 

https://engage.victo...5199/faqs#20995



#2402 Mike K.

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 11:54 AM

The mayor is out in months. Developers are not as intertwined into this as it might appear. Maybe two or three are acting in some unofficial advisory capacity but it’s not industry-wide input that’s being provided formally.

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#2403 spanky123

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 12:07 PM

Some info on the consultation process and bylays that might result from the City of Victoria. May help answer some of the questions here.

 

https://engage.victo...5199/faqs#20995

 

As soon as you read the regurgitated statement that upzoning doesn't impact land values you know that the document has no credibility.


Edited by spanky123, 13 January 2022 - 12:08 PM.

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#2404 spanky123

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 12:08 PM

The mayor is out in months. Developers are not as intertwined into this as it might appear. Maybe two or three are acting in some unofficial advisory capacity but it’s not industry-wide input that’s being provided formally.

 

True but the staff put into these new positions will likely be there for years. 



#2405 A Girl is No one

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 12:23 PM

The mayor is out in months. Developers are not as intertwined into this as it might appear. Maybe two or three are acting in some unofficial advisory capacity but it’s not industry-wide input that’s being provided formally.

This is for non-profit and supportive housing, therefore they could build a homeless shelter anywhere anytime without consultation.
It would do nothing to ease the « housing crisis ».

Edited by A Girl is No one, 13 January 2022 - 12:43 PM.


#2406 Nparker

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 12:25 PM

...they could build a homeless shelter anywhere anytime without consultation.

Doesn't this already happen or is it just a North Park phenomenon?


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#2407 Moderation

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 12:48 PM

As soon as you read the regurgitated statement that upzoning doesn't impact land values you know that the document has no cribility.

 

 

It does not say that there will be no impact on land values. City staff is and has been aware of this issue and reporting the information that they have received.

 

From the report FAQ

 

 What can the City do to minimize land value impacts from zoning changes?

We recognize there are many factors outside the City’s control are already acting on land values, but we are also considering how the City can approach zoning changes in ways that minimize their impact. Our phase one financial analysis for this project indicated that, as there is marginal viability for most missing middle housing types, zoning for this type of housing generally does not provide a financial rationale for commercial developers to acquire land for anything more than current market values. Phase two of the analysis is focused on identifying a potential contribution to the Housing Reserve Fund, local amenities fund, and or delivery of below market homeownership units that the zoning could require to achieve the densities associated with the missing middle housing forms tested. This will help ensure that if and wherever there is any potential rationale for acquiring land above market prices, the majority of that additional value will accrue to public benefit (without entirely discouraging the creation of that housing).

We have also been working with BC Assessment to look at this as part of our research and analysis. It’s ultimately up to BC Assessment to confirm assessment values, however our discussions with them suggests that the impact on land value from City-initiated zoning changes could be minimal. The OCP’s land use designations are one of the factors in determining land assessments, and the City is proposing to update its zoning regulations largely reflect the OCP that has been in place since 2012. While rezoning a specific lot can increase the land value relative to neighbouring properties – a more widespread zoning change eliminates the scarcity of land, minimizing the added value. 



#2408 Mike K.

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 02:04 PM

Our phase one financial analysis for this project indicated that, as there is marginal viability for most missing middle housing types, zoning for this type of housing generally does not provide a financial rationale for commercial developers to acquire land for anything more than current market values.

 

 

I don't understand how an analysis could deduce there is no value in additional density.

 

Yes, there may be financial barriers to exploiting the density to its full potential (i.e. it may be more feasible given land size and scope to build a duplex rather than a triplex) but a SFD property automatically qualifying for a duplex+ is more valuable than an SFD property, especially if each half of the duplex can now have a secondary suite (making it a four-plex). There's big value in that regardless of the volume of identical lots.

 

It's somewhat non-sensical to say because all SFD lots will now have more automatically permitted density, their value won't shift. Yes it will. Value is partially derived from future profit potential. More units = more profit potential.


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#2409 spanky123

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 04:35 PM

^ The argument has been used for a few years now as a means for forgoing bonus density payments by developers. Of course the value of the land increases with density, developers don't value land by the sq footage of the lot!

 

I think in this case the City is simply trying to circumvent the objection to their plan by denying it exists.


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#2410 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 05:34 PM

Public input sought on Victoria’s vision to streamline subsidized housing process

 

Proposal to maximize building densities, delegate some approvals, sent to public hearing

 

https://www.vicnews....ousing-process/



#2411 Sparky

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 07:40 AM

Leave.JPG


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#2412 Seechelle1969

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 12:37 PM

[quote name="Nparker" post="633038" timestamp="1642105544"]

Doesn't this already happen or is it just a North Park phenomenon?[/quo

It’s been happening for the 16 years I’ve been living in Burnside. Gorge. Our community association and residents have had very little to no influence or say on the shelters and supportive housing and hotel use that have happened. I always find it amusing when I read posts railing about how community associations and residents have so much veto power - not been our experience. My concerns about this process change is it does not help with any accountability for how the service providers manage their buildings and impacts or how they integrate (they don’t) into the community. That is where i see the challenges we are currently experiencing as a city and I future. There is zero accountability for service providers to address impacts to communities.
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#2413 Mattjvd

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 09:48 PM

I'd have to look into why this is the case a little more but: du/tri-plexes are very common here in Edmonton as infills on (formerly) single-family lots. Especially in the older neighborhoods close to downtown and old Strathcona. They're nearly all fee-simple too. As far as I can tell from casually perusing the real estate listings, at least.

It does seem to be easier to get approvals, of course. But I would have assumed that with lower land values (than Victoria), this would less common.

Edited by Mattjvd, 16 January 2022 - 09:48 PM.


#2414 Mike K.

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 08:27 AM

It’s been happening for the 16 years I’ve been living in Burnside. Gorge. Our community association and residents have had very little to no influence or say on the shelters and supportive housing and hotel use that have happened. I always find it amusing when I read posts railing about how community associations and residents have so much veto power - not been our experience. My concerns about this process change is it does not help with any accountability for how the service providers manage their buildings and impacts or how they integrate (they don’t) into the community. That is where i see the challenges we are currently experiencing as a city and I future. There is zero accountability for service providers to address impacts to communities.


Right. The supportive housing era has shown how important community engagement is, and what happens when the process appears more for show than sincere dialogue. And this happened just as the City began musing about denying association input if a project meets OCP guidelines (I agree with this in spirit, but not if the use of a building is out of sync with the neighbourbood it’s destined for).

There isn’t a single person involved with community associations with whom I’ve spoken to who says the process of unveiling a supportive housing project or a shelter was a two-way conversation. They all feel like they were railroaded and had options to choose between small aspects of the projects or had no choices presented at all. Their feedback to me has been that there was no room for dialogue from a location and planning perspective. Is that the future of community planning moving forward? If so, it’ll be a stark contrast to what Victorians are used to.
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#2415 Mike K.

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 08:35 AM

I'd have to look into why this is the case a little more but: du/tri-plexes are very common here in Edmonton as infills on (formerly) single-family lots. Especially in the older neighborhoods close to downtown and old Strathcona. They're nearly all fee-simple too. As far as I can tell from casually perusing the real estate listings, at least.

It does seem to be easier to get approvals, of course. But I would have assumed that with lower land values (than Victoria), this would less common.


Yes, it’s a product of viability as well. It may not be viable to build an SFD at Edmonton’s prices if you first have to buy an SFD property then knock it down to make room for a new one. If you’re building for profit, in markets like Edmonton you would need the added density.

In markets like Victoria, you buy a $1.5 million SFD, knock it down, build a new home on it, and sell it for $2.7M. If you can build a duplex or triplex on that same SFD lot you can sell each half of a duplex for $1.5M, or each share in a triplex for $1.2M. But ultimately you don’t need to, if you don’t want to, given the market.

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#2416 Mattjvd

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 10:56 AM

Yes, it’s a product of viability as well. It may not be viable to build an SFD at Edmonton’s prices if you first have to buy an SFD property then knock it down to make room for a new one. If you’re building for profit, in markets like Edmonton you would need the added density.

In markets like Victoria, you buy a $1.5 million SFD, knock it down, build a new home on it, and sell it for $2.7M. If you can build a duplex or triplex on that same SFD lot you can sell each half of a duplex for $1.5M, or each share in a triplex for $1.2M. But ultimately you don’t need to, if you don’t want to, given the market.


Yeah, that's a good point. My intuition assumed that higher land values = more incentive for density; which would make them more appealing to developers in Victoria. But I think you're right that there is a larger premium on detached homes in Victoria

#2417 Mike K.

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 01:46 PM

Builders have choice here, for sure. No need to go through the municipal approvals process if all you want to do is build a giant house where an SFD formerly stood.

 

On the flip side to build a duplex, now you're going through the process. That's a big part of the politics behind introducing missing middle zoning, to get rid of the delays associated with building 2/3/4/5/6 units where formerly one was permitted without lengthy delay (barring major variance requests).


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#2418 punk cannonballer

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 04:08 PM

That was the assumption with the garden suites, though - make it easier to build and people will build them. I don't know about you guys but I own a house in the City of Victoria and I have neither a basement suite nor detached suite because I don't want one. It mostly negates the niceties of having a house when you fill the yard and your basement with strangers. That, and the garden suite doesn't make sense financially.

We will have to see whether upzoning will really densify the more traditional neighbourhoods in ways that the city is anticipating. I haven't seen much desire for duplex development (though that has ticked up a tiny bit with the few empty lots recently) and townhouses have often been a second-choice fallback for a developer who couldn't get approval for apartments. 

I'd wager that moving forward we see the less desirable houses fronting busy corridors being redeveloped for apartments and the 'missing middle' taking a lot longer to be realized. I think some of the bolder corner lot owners of old houses might have a stab at triplex development, but the margins are pretty low there I think. Buy a shit house in the inner city for 1.2-1.3, tear it down, level lot you're into for 1.4. Build three townhouses for $2m construction cost and now you're selling for 1.2 each? That's marginal. I think we're much more likely to see condos with townhouse podiums like you do along Cambie/King Eddie etc in Vancouver. 



#2419 Mike K.

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 04:19 PM

It's not so bad. You can fit a dozen townhomes on a quarter acre of land, which you'd buy for $1.6-$2M in the inner city (in the CoV; in Saanich those lots sell for a lot less, but you can build a lot less, too).

 

The shit houses are selling for $800k, but if they're on a larger lot it's a good deal within the missing middle context.


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#2420 punk cannonballer

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 04:28 PM

We shall see.



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