If I’m elected to council I will vote YES to passing the Missing Middle Housing Initiative. I do believe we need to explore the MMHI further though in order to ensure it isn’t “more of the same” for Victoria – that being a cash-in for developers. If we’re going to forever change Victoria, it needs to be in order to create more affordable homes. Not just more homes at the same unaffordable price.
The MMHI alone is not enough; we need to protect our local renters further through additional measures as well.
Rent in Victoria has risen by over 20% over the past year; currently, rent for a two-bedroom averages around $2500/month, with one-bedrooms going for around $1970.
Many of the workers that our community depends on in order to function make less than $20/hour.
These rental prices are not sustainable, affecting both renters and owners alike. Although vacancy control (limiting the amount a landlord can raise rent between tenancies) was recently voted down at the UBCM, we need to continue to press the issue.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo estimate that between 20% – 30% of Canada’s rental apartment market is owned by institutional landlords – REITs (real estate investment trust – a company that makes investments in income-producing real estate).
REITs are regularly traded on the stock market – annual reports from the four largest real estate investment trusts in Canada showed they disbursed more than $2 billion in profits to their investors between 2015 and 2020.
I will support resolutions that either protect tenants or stop corporations (REITs) from buying housing blocks, renovicting tenants and profiting from huge rent increases.
I propose all new rental developments require tenants to certify that the rental unit they are applying for will be their PRINCIPLE RESIDENCE.
Our community lacks the supply to provide long and short-term vacation rental units — we don’t need empty houses, we need residents in homes.
The CRD as a whole needs to petition the Provincial Government for long-term solutions to our growing humanitarian crisis.
In the interim, we need to shelter our unsheltered through additional, supported modular-style villages like the one found in North Park.
Council should also host regular, round table discussions with our local first responders, nurses and counsellors. It’s imperative that our leaders hear regularly and directly from those on the front line, so that direction & focus is pointed where it’s needed most. Time spent in the wrong direction is lost and as far as issues go, where this one’s concerned, time = lives.
Once we get support and shelter for our unhoused, we can begin the process of rejuvenating Pandora to its former glory. I’d love to see a couple of picnic tables on the grass boulevard one day.
Victoria has been my home for over 20 years, I moved here straight out of high school and never looked back. The art forward culture of this city is largely responsible for fostering my career as a graphic designer/web developer. Without the opportunities from small, Victoria based, risk-taking entrepreneurs like those found at Sitka Surfboards (ecologyst), H2 Marketing & Metropol, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today.
As a freelance creative, I interact with a wide variety of local businesses every day in order to help them grow. I’ve seen firsthand the impact our lack of affordable housing has had on my clients, whether it’s from unfillable positions or from a fear of taking risks that might build stronger business due to tight monthly budgets.
I have seen Victoria shift from the vibrant, creatively driven, community-based cultural mecca it once was, to the almost unrecognizable and borderline unlivable city it is today.
More than ever, Victoria needs everyday people — young, hard working, creative, & (most importantly) hopeful people, to step forward with their ideas in order to solve the complex issues we currently face.
First and foremost — accessible, affordable housing — that’s what I’m here to fight for.
Reason for running
I’ve lived in Victoria as a renter for over 20 years. The last ten of those have been spent in North Park with a bird’s eye view of the city. I watch the cranes creep closer at the same rate the vacancies drop.
I’m running for council because I want young people to be able to come to Victoria and have the same opportunities that I did when I first arrived.
I also want our established residents who are thinking of starting a family to have the option of creating a future here.
Unfortunately, for most, these dreams are unrealistic, and remain just that – dreams.
THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!
The people that live here, that work here, that raise their families here – these are the people that are going to implement change.
That change starts with affordable housing, which is based upon housing supply. We need to address our fundamental and basic needs. Everything else is correlated with this, both good and bad – no housing, no community, no workers, no tourism.
We are losing our people, and we are losing people who want to make Victoria their home – people who want to contribute. We are losing the very people who not only allow Victoria to work as a functioning, vibrant city, but the ones who make it thrive.