New developments must have affordable units: Murdock


For Immediate Release
November 8, 2011

New developments must have affordable units: Murdock

Victoria – Saanich Councillor Dean Murdock wants to set a minimum of affordable units for large development projects. This morning Murdock announced an Affordable Saanich Action Plan that includes a 10 percent contribution of affordable units that will add hundreds of new units to Saanich’s housing stock.

“On the doorstep, parents tell me they are concerned that their children cannot afford to live in their own community and will have to move up-Island to find housing they can afford,” Murdock said. “That’s not how you sustain an economy or a community.”

Murdock’s proposal would see all large projects offer 10 percent of housing units at below market value for sale or rent. The title of the unit would reflect the below-market cost, and the unit can only be re-sold or rented below market cost to keep the benefit going for future owners and renters.

“We’ve seen dozens of new projects in Saanich over the past three years,” Murdock said. “If each of those projects included 10 percent affordable units, we would have added hundreds of new affordable homes in Saanich already. We should be making up for lost time.”

Saanich has 2663 units of social housing and contributes $300,000 per year to the Regional Housing Trust Fund. The Saanich Strategic Plan calls for an incremental increase in units each year.

The first-term Councillor is seeking re-election to Saanich Council and a seat on the CRD Board.

Municipal elections are November 19.

Affordable Saanich Action Plan

Our region is a desirable place to live and raise a family. Unfortunately, the increasing cost of housing can be prohibitive to many. It is important to ensure that our region remains affordable and that housing options are available to all members of society. We can achieve regional affordability by:

– Requiring a minimum 10 per cent contribution of affordable units (constructed, not cash-in-lieu) for all residential developments of 10 units or more.
– Regulating and permitting secondary suites and working with community associations to ensure that the suites respect the quality and character of the community.
– Offering surplus municipal property (not green space or parks) on long-term, no-cost lease in exchange for publicly-operated affordable rental units.
– Working with regional partners and senior levels of government to finance construction of publicly-operated affordable rental units.