Saanich Coun. Zac de Vries checks in on the new student housing development on the University of Victoria campus. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich Coun. Zac de Vries checks in on the new student housing development on the University of Victoria campus. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich task force proposes more than 70 recommendations to address housing crisis

Housing Strategy task force report comes to council March 22

Saanich’s task force charged with addressing the housing crisis has submitted its final report, complete with more than 70 recommendations for developing a district-wide action plan.

On March 22, council will receive the Housing Strategy task force’s final report and residents will be invited to weigh in.

The task force began tackling Saanich’s housing crisis in September 2020 and, after 13 meetings, concluded their work on Feb. 25. Over the course of six months, the task force’s 16 members, council representatives, municipal staff and facilitators met virtually due to COVID-19 to develop housing solutions.

The result was a document that included 74 recommendations and a series of principles to guide council in the quest to bring affordable housing to Saanich, explained Coun. Zac de Vries, chair of the task force.

For him, no one aspect of the report stands out because he feels “it’s a very collaborative and thoughtful approach to housing” that’s going to be successful.

The recommendations span all aspects of delivering affordable housing – from considering using Saanich’s own properties for supportive housing and reviewing parking requirements, to developing zoning that includes and encourages “missing-middle,” family-friendly housing, he explained.

Saanich neighbourhoods are in need of middle-class housing – whether that be duplexes, townhouses or walk-ups – and that needs to be a priority going forward to provide a greater diversity and supply of housing, de Vries said.

He added that the task force also recommends the Official Community Plan be amended to align with the new Housing Strategy once it’s developed to enable the identified solutions – many of which were inspired by other municipalities around the world.

Because of the task force’s diverse makeup and long deliberations, de Vries isn’t worried that any recommendations will be a surprise to residents. He noted that implementation of any solutions will require public engagement to ensure residents are comfortable.

De Vries added that this report is the beginning of the development of Saanich’s Housing Strategy. Residents and council will be able to weigh in on March 22, then the report will be sent to a public survey, he said, noting that he hopes to see widespread participation.

“We don’t want to see Saanich shaped by any one group and so we look forward to hearing the views of all Saanich residents,” he said.

Once the survey concludes, staff will use the task force’s report and the public’s input to develop the final Housing Strategy which will come to council in June and be followed by further public input.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of SaanichHousing

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

Just Posted

This photo shows crews the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Central Saanich rallies around couple who lost home of 25 years

A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway for Carla and Brian Wallace

The government map (as of April 22) showing vaccine availability doesn’t have any Saanich Peninsula pharmacies listed, but the situation is fluid, and many readers have already registered. (Province of B.C. screenshot)
Vaccine availability a fluid situation for Saanich Peninsula

Government site may not show pharmacies, but registering still an option

Volunteers with the Esquimalt Farmers Market will be on hand at Bullen Field to direct attendees and clarify public health protocols. The market runs Thursdays now through Sept. 16, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Facebook/Esquimalt Farmers Market)
Esquimalt Farmers Market continues tonight at Bullen Field

Award-winning market features farm-fresh products, food trucks, COVID-19 protocols for safety

A member of the Belmont Secondary School in Langford has tested positive for COVID-19, the Sooke School District announced Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Positive COVID-19 case identified at Belmont Secondary School in Langford

Other school members could’ve been exposed on April 20

While Buccaneer Days public events are cancelled again, such as the annual parade, a home and business decorating contest will allow the spirit of the event to live on. (Facebook)
Esquimalt Buccaneer Days COVID-19 cannon fodder again

Annual celebration cancelled a second time, decorating contest full steam ahead

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read