I think we can all agree that Greater Victoria and other urban areas in the province are experiencing severe housing shortages, but the setting of targets for the creation of new housing units by the province seems an overly simplistic “solution” to our current housing situation.
Several questions came to mind when the targets were announced, which I believe need to be addressed in each affected community before any decisions about the number and type of housing units should be built.
Do we currently have adequate infrastructure in health care, transit, policing, recreation, etc. to accommodate the prescribed growth?
Can we streamline the approval process for new housing, which these targets will inevitably require, while still ensuring development occurs in an orderly, systematic and safe manner?
How much growth is too much? Given the geographical constraints of the lower Island, is there a limit to growth in the region? How much growth can the CRD absorb without resulting in a decline in livability?
What makes the CRD special and unique, and can we preserve those qualities while we continue to grow?
Should the CRD be expected to pursue urbanization and density similar to Greater Vancouver?
The new housing target numbers announced by the provincial government appear quite arbitrary and premature. Before the number of housing starts are even considered for each region, we need to have serious, urgent, and widespread public engagement on the amount and kind of growth we want to see in the CRD and around the province