District of North Saanich Housing Needs Report
The District of North Saanich has partnered with the Capital Regional District (CRD) and other member municipalities to undertake a regional approach to Housing Needs Reports.
Housing Needs Reports (HNRs) are a way for communities to better understand their current and future housing needs. These reports can help identify existing and projected gaps in housing supply by collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information about local demographics, economics, housing stock, and other factors.
HNRs are required to contain the following, based on an analysis of the information collected:
- The number of housing units required to meet current housing and anticipated housing needs for at least the next 5 years, by housing type. Housing ‘type’ is defined as dwelling size (number of bedrooms)
- Statements about key areas of local need, including affordable housing, rental housing, special needs housing, seniors housing, family housing and shelters and housing for people at risk of homelessness
- The number and percentage of households in core housing need and extreme core housing need
The CRD succeeded in securing a $150,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities to cover the costs associated with these reports – each participating community will receive an individual Housing Need Report. The HNRs are expected to wrap up by October 2020.
The HNR will inform the District’s comprehensive OCP review process which is concurrently taking place.
Given the current Covid-19 pandemic the engagement strategy is being modified. The consultant, Urban Matters, will be using focus groups and stakeholder interviews will be hosted remotely through non-standard engagement techniques like video conferencing, webinar and one-on-one phone calls.
Affordable Housing Strategy and Policy
Although very informative, the Affordable Housing Strategy and Policy developed by the District in 2018 does not meet the criteria of the Local Government Act (s.585) requirements for Housing Needs Reports. The strategy will help inform the Housing Needs Report and the OCP review process.