Affordability is an important issue in the 2018 municipal election. Many voters want guidance to identify candidates who will reflect their values when making decisions that affect affordability.
To help voters evaluate candidates’ positions, Cities for Everyone surveyed mayoral and city council candidates in Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay. Of 93 candidates contacted we received 31 completed surveys. We also analyzed candidates’ websites and interviews, incumbents’ voting records and the quality of their campaign.
This analysis found that candidates tend to fall into four general categories:
1. Comprehensive affordability. Supports policies that allow more compact infill in residential neighborhoods to increase low- and moderate-income affordability.
2. Low-income affordability. Focuses on subsidizing and mandating below-market housing to increase affordability for people with low incomes and special housing needs.
3. “Protect neighborhoods.” Opposes neighborhood change and therefore affordable infill.
4. Unconcerned or unclear. Provides little information about their position on affordability.
The distinction between Comprehensive and Low-income affordability is important because there are often trade-offs between these goals. Some policies intended to increase low-income affordability can reduce middle-income affordability, for example, if inclusionary zoning increases moderate-priced housing costs, or housing demolition prohibitions prevent development of larger buildings. Comprehensive affordability advocates support more development of both low- and moderate priced housing in walkable urban neighborhoods.
The table below summarizes the results. It indicates which candidates tend to reflect various affordability priorities. This can help voters choose the candidates who will best represent their priorities.
Candidates Categorized by Their Affordability Priorities (www.citiesforeveryone.org)
This table summarizes Cities for Everyone’s Candidate Affordability Ratings.
Both citizens and candidates vary in their affordability priorities. Some favor policies targeted at reducing homelessness and increasing housing for the lowest income households; others want to increase affordable housing and transportation options for both low- and middle-income households; and some are more concerned about preserving single-family housing in residential neighborhoods and so oppose policies that allow more affordable infill. Our Candidates’ Affordability Rating allows voters to identify the candidates who best reflect their values.
For more information
“Vote for Affordability! Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay Candidates’ Affordability Ratings” (http://citiesforever...ity-Ratings.pdf).
“Victoria Affordability Backgrounder: Using Urban Economics to Understand Housing Unaffordability Problems and Solutions” (http://citiesforever...2018/09/vab.pdf).
A 1.5% Neighbourhood Solution to Inaffordability (http://citiesforever...2018/07/nas.pdf).
Edited by citiesforeveryone, 06 October 2018 - 02:41 PM.