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Housing Strategy

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Housing Strategy


The Housing & Affordable Housing Strategy & Policy relates to the following District of North Saanich strategic priorities:

  • Maintain a Strong Sense of Community
  • Maintain a Safe and Healthy Community
  • Ensure Strong Leadership, Fiscal Responsibility and Transparent Government

The Housing & Affordable Housing Strategy & Policy advances the following District of North Saanich strategic plan goals:

  • The Diversity of Neighbourhoods within our Municipality is Recognized and Respected
  • Housing Policies that Support Local and Regional Initiatives

Housing and Affordable Housing Strategy & Policy

After extensive community consultation, Council has adopted the following bylaws to advance the Affordable Housing Strategy and Policy (October, 2018):

The District of North Saanich (DNS), like other municipalities across the Capital Region, is experiencing a growing need for more affordable housing options. This is largely due to the growing gap between the cost of housing and household income. In response, the District of North Saanich Council has been actively taking steps to address this growing gap and increasing need for more affordable housing. In 2017, the District of North Saanich released “Housing Affordability in the District of North Saanich: A Discussion Paper to Inform Official Community Plan Deliberations” (the Discussion Paper) to provide local context on affordability and inform the District of North Saanich deliberations on Official Community Plan review of Area 1 (McTavish) and Area 2 (Tsehum) for Multi-Family Residential Designation. Areas 1 and 2 are located near transit and community services and meet the criteria for location of affordable housing. The Discussion Paper identified an affordable housing gap in North Saanich principally with low-income families and seniors.

While the District of North Saanich continues to contribute to the new supply of regional housing in the Capital Regional District the District has been and will continue to be a secondary supplier of housing in the region, given its relatively small supply of designated developable land. Further, the relatively small number of residential units with service capacity for sewer is limited to 300 in Areas 1 and 2, identified in the OCP as slow-moderate growth in the Multi-Family Designation. In the past five years these Official Community Plan (OCP) identified slow-moderate areas have experienced the highest growth rate of residential dwelling units’ growth in the District. Specifically, since Bylaw 1352 was adopted in 2014 there has been the addition of 163 new units out of an estimated servicing capacity limit of 500. From 2014 – 2017 Area 1 (McTavish) had 74 new units, Area 2 (Tsehum) has 89 new units and District wide, outside of Areas 1 and 2 had a total of 106 new units. The current locations of subsidized affordable housing in the District are the 24 BC Housing low income family rentals at Heron Cove and the 40 one bedroom seniors units at Winward Kiwanis both in Area 2 (Tsehum). A recent mixed market development rezoning for Area 1 is the first addition of affordable housing in the District in several years and reduces the available residential dwelling unit capacity by thirty-six if approved for a remaining number of serviceable new units to approximately 300 in Areas 1 and 2.

Strategic Approach

  • Encourage and promote diverse housing options across the District that support achieving regional and local affordability targets
  • Foster the development of affordable housing options for low-income households specifically seniors and low-income families
  • Facilitate community partnerships to achieve affordability targets
  • Participate in regional affordable housing initiatives to support coordination and collaboration across the region
  • Adopt the updated RHAS strategies into the Official Community Plan.
  • When appropriate, use the Regional Housing division of the Capital Regional District to support the establishment of housing agreements, support for land banking (if needed), and to access expertise on leading policy mechanisms for local governments.

Official Community Plan New Policies

Recommended policies for Areas 1 & 2 and outside Areas 1 & 2 (within the NSSA):
The recommended new policies encourage development that is consistent with the OCP only and within the limited scope of development in North Saanich. The OCP will encourage policy to support rental only zoning as a future zone.

Areas 1 & 2

In new developments in Areas 1 and 2, the District encourages all new development to be affordable housing for low-income families and seniors. The DNS should prioritize development proposals for developments for low-income families and seniors in Areas 1 and 2.  Proposals should include provisions that ensure that all housing provided is only for non-market, low income families and seniors. This may include housing agreements, tax exemptions and the involvement of affordable housing societies.

The District consider Alternative Development Standards for development applications in Areas 1 and 2 to support affordability such as reduced parking requirements and density bonusing.

Encourage diversity of housing types and tenure in Areas 1 and 2 to promote social mix, and to promote collaboration between non-profit and private sector developers to achieve greater affordability.

Outside Areas 1 & 2 (within the NSSA)

Outside Areas 1 & 2, in new attached residential or mixed-use residential/commercial development, the District will encourage a minimum of 20% affordable housing with new developments

Affordable Housing Strategy & Policy










If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Planning and Community Services department. You can also write or e-mail Mayor and Council.

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