Globe and Mail
20 March 1980
REPORT ON CANADA CMHC study
Greater Vancouver has the most serious housing shortage in North America, says a study released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The corporation also disclosed that: Victoria and Vancouver rank first and second in Canada for the lowest vacancy rate.
19 October 1989
Housing Crisis Rally
Dozens of families are expected to march on Victoria city hall this morning. They want council to use its influence to get the province to ban adult-only apartment buildings. The rally is sponsored by Citizens for Affordable Housing, a citizens' pressure group which has grown up in response to Victoria's housing crisis.
22 November 1989
RENTAL CARROT: VICTORIA OFFERS RATE CUT TO DEVELOPERS
Victoria is handing out $20 million to B.C. developers to build about 2,000 rental-housing units.
But critics say the scheme will do more for developers than for people needing affordable housing.
New Democratic Party housing critic Robin Blencoe said the plan will do nothing to create affordable housing in the province.
"All this does is build housing units that most British Columbians can't afford, and it uses taxpayers' dollars to do it," said the Victoria MLA. "This isn't a trickle-down theory - it's a drip."
"It really will do virtually nothing to ease the housing crisis," he said.
28 February 1990
Victoria, municipalities agree to seek solutions to rental housing crisis
The provincial government and the Union of B.C. Municipalities came to a meeting of the minds Tuesday over the housing crisis, and have agreed to jointly look at solutions, UBCM president Len Traboulay said.
Traboulay said the provincial review, which will be conducted between the UBCM and staff from the ministries of municipal affairs, social services and housing, finance and labor and consumer services, are aimed at shepherding amending legislation through the next sitting of the legislature.
Those changes will hopefully address secondary suites, affordability and availability of suites, rent review and elimination of discrimination against couples with children, Traboulay said.
02 August 1990
B.C. rental crisis worst in country: Situation 'gross' for Victoria, Vancouver
The rental housing crisis in Victoria and Vancouver is worse than anywhere else in Canada, a new study shows.
"For renters, the situation appears to be deteriorating," researcher Gwyn Simmons told a forum in Victoria yesterday.
Simmons was hired by the Capital Regional District to look at rental housing problems and recommend solutions.
He found the proportion of renters paying more than 30 per cent of their gross incomes for housing was higher in Greater Victoria than anywhere else in Canada.
Simmons says that about 20 per cent of Victoria renters were paying more than half their gross income for rent.
Social planners generally say no one should have to pay more than 30 per cent of their income for housing.
But using census figures, Simmons found that 48 per cent of Victoria's renters were in fact paying more than that. In Vancouver, the figure was 45 per cent.
Simmons says the problem has worsened in the past year or so because "rent increases are generally outpacing incomes."
Moreover, he says, the problem is likely to continue to worsen because the region is facing a severe shortage of land zoned and serviced for rental housing.
The average rent increase in the past year has been 11 per cent.
Simmons and his co-consultants make three dozen recommendations that they believe could help ease the problem.
They suggest municipalities should require new subdivisions and housing projects to include 20 per cent of their units as "affordable rental units."
29 May 1993
Trouble in the Garden:; Behind Victoria's grand facade lies a crisis in affordable housing
CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?
There is certainly no sign of a housing crisis in Victoria's high-society Uplands neighborhood...
And all's quiet down on the waterfront in the James Bay district overlooking the inner harbor, where life hums along in a perpetual holiday mood and the classy, brick-faced Harbourside condo towers are all sold out save for a couple of suites for $320,000 and $580,000.
Yet across town, a block or two down from where the street kids hang out, Kaye Melliship, intense and intelligent, is fighting a lone and losing battle to generate more affordable housing and stave off what she perceives as the "serious housing crisis" that has Victoria in its grip.
A planner with the Capital Region Housing Corp., Melliship says she can't find any affordable housing for her waiting list of 1,060 families, 361 seniors and 154 disabled people who, for a variety of reasons, require less expensive accommodation.
"There is a vast need for affordable housing right now in Victoria. We know that 20,000 to 30,000 households are paying too much for their housing and could require some assistance to make ends meet," she says.
Defining affordable as the ability for low- and moderate-income families to have rental and ownership opportunities that cost 30 per cent or less of their income, she points out that Victoria is the most difficult city in Canada for people to get out of renting and buy their own place.
Only 7.5 per cent of renters in Victoria can afford to buy a house or condominium of their own compared with 20.5 per cent in Vancouver, 27 per cent in Toronto and 35 per cent in Montreal.
She sees a number of barriers to affordable housing:
* Lack of municipal policies, plans and strategies.
* A dramatic cut in capital funds from senior government for non-market housing.
* High cost of land and absence of land servicing.
* No-growth policies in communities due to constraints in the capacity of infrastructure and community values.
* Lengthy development approval processes.
Les Bjola, president of Victoria Real Estate Board, agrees that there is a great need for more affordable housing, but he believes the problem stems from two key issues: an increasing shortage of developable land and the lack of quality regional planning.
"The land shortage is even more pronounced here than in Vancouver...
Melliship and Bjola are concerned about the way 1,200 acres of land in the Tod Inlet area and 1,800 acres south in the Highlands district of Langford will ultimately be developed. They would like to see the land developed in a way that permits higher densities, which would generate more affordable housing.
08 July 2002
It's tough finding rental units: Proposed revisions to tenancy act could make situation worse
For students and other renters on a tight budget... finding a place to live in Victoria is difficult.
Peggy Prill, a market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation calls Victoria a "constrained" market.
When the corporation measured the vacancy rate of the region's rentals last October, it sat at 0.5 per cent -- that's equal to 130 of the region's 26,000 units available.
A healthy vacancy rate is at about two per cent, she said.
Prill said there are many reasons for the housing shortage.
The problem is compounded by the fact there have been no new rental units built for over 20 years and population has grown steadily, especially among students who return to the city for school each September.
Edited by aastra, 13 November 2018 - 07:39 PM.