We are in a housing crisis

Victoria is becoming increasingly unaffordable for primary homeowners and renters
Increase in the average home price in the last 20 years
Average rent for a 1 bed apartment
Of renter's moves are forced in BC, highest rate in the country

What's our goal?

We're a community advocacy group pushing to solve the housing crisis through local action. Local councils have the most influence over housing affordability, and are directly accountable to Victoria residents like you.

Why should you care? Because you...
are a renter
want to own a home
have/want to have a family
don’t want your kids to move
want vibrant neighbourhoods
want a strong local economy
care about the environment

How do we fix this?

Prioritize homes for living

Homes, especially ground-oriented homes, are of limited quantity. We must prioritize them for people to live in, not to be kept empty or used as distributed hotel rooms.  

The provincial Speculation and Vacancy Tax has made considerable progress in reducing empty homes, but thousands of active whole-home short term vacation rentals remain in Victoria.

Regulation efforts to date have been limited, with only the City of Victoria actively regulating short term rentals in the region.
Restrict whole-home short term vacation rentals such as Airbnbs. There are currently 2652 whole-home Airbnb listings in Greater Victoria.
Require municipal licenses to be displayed in online listings and aggressively enforce existing short term rental bylaws.

Build abundant family-suitable rentals

In the last 30 years, we have added only 2723 purpose-built rental units in Greater Victoria while the population grew by 116,000 people.

Our failure to build rentals has forced tenants to depend on private investors for their housing.  However, that housing is insecure as tenants are often evicted when properties sell. BC has the highest rate of forced moves in Canada due to insecure rental housing.  This shortage encourages investors to buy up multiple homes and drive up prices because they know families have no other options for rentals. About 1 in 5 Victoria homes are owned by investors.

Current purpose built rental stock is 97% studio, 1, or 2 bed apartments not suitable for families.  We need more rental units of all types, but we especially need ground-oriented, family-suitable rental housing in all areas of the region to ensure families have a secure place to live.

Research shows even market rate rentals improve affordability but the market alone is not enough to provide homes for everyone. Municipalities should actively provide land to build social and non-market housing, as well as adding incentives to integrate below market housing into new developments.
Allow low rise rental projects everywhere and OCP compliant projects in centres to bypass the rezoning process and go straight to building permit
Award bonus density for projects with below market or family suitable rental units to incentivize construction.
Identify existing municipal land & buy new land to build social housing.

Build abundant family-suitable housing

Victoria is hemmed in by the ocean, the urban containment boundary, and ALR (farming) land. Only the westshore has greenfield land to build on, but that won't last much longer either. We physically cannot sprawl, so we must densify.

Single family homes used to be affordable to families, but with an average price of $1.2 million, they aren't any longer. Condos are great for many people, but not everyone can live in one. We need abundant family-suitable, ground-oriented housing like duplexes, triplexes, multiplexes, and townhomes everywhere in the city.  

Denser housing close to amenities allows people to live car-light lifestyles and reduces carbon emissions. However, this housing is not permitted on the vast majority of the land in Victoria, which is reserved for single family homes only.
Upzone all single family areas within the urban containment boundary to allow multiplexes and townhouses by right.
Streamline the development and building permit approval process.  
Publish open data on housing approval timelines in order to hold municipalities to account.

Model Housing Platform, Elections 2022

We've highlighted a subset of the above policies that we believe should be priorities for the upcoming municipal elections. Check it out →

Why these policies? Can't more be done?

There are many more policies that can be changed at the federal level. We have a local focus since we believe that it's a different set of problems that deserves its own approach. For federal policies (such as better taxation of investors, transparent bidding, etc) check out the Canada Housing Subreddit.

What can I do?

Things that can be done right now to help.

1. Follow us on Twitter ›

Help amplify our tweets with likes, retweets, & comments.

2. Subscribe to our newsletter ›

We will only send important and relevant updates to you. We respect your privacy and will send at most an email a month.

3. Contact your representative ›

Send them an email or call them to say you want bold and immediate action on housing in Victoria.

4. Share your housing story ›

Join one of our social channels and share how you've navigated through the unaffordable market in Victoria.

5. Join our Discord ›

Ask how you can help with one of our ongoing projects (vote tracker, zoning map, etc).

6. Support our work ›

To educate as many voters as possible on which candidates are the most pro-housing (via the results of our of our evaluation), we'd like to expand our reach with print & social media ads.

Passionate about affordable housing?

Come join the conversation on the Homes for Living Discord. We are a group of community volunteers that are taking action to make Victoria a better place to live for primary homeowners and renters.