Putting a premium on affordable housing

With our current bylaws, smaller houses are being knocked down and replaced by the largest structure allowed

In the run-up to our recent local election, voters and candidates discussed housing options in Oak Bay, including the topic of affordable housing.

Entry level single family homes in Oak Bay range from $465,000 to $600,000.  Obviously some can afford these lofty prices because I see many young couples and families who have recently arrived in our municipality.

Generally speaking, smaller houses are less expensive than larger ones; one reason we need to keep them.

With our current bylaws, smaller houses are being knocked down and replaced by the largest structure allowed. The retail prices for these replacement homes are two to three times what the little ones sold for.

If the bylaws were improved such that the existing footprint of a dwelling could not be changed then the small houses would remain as small houses.

By making such a move, we would not only maintain a supply of homes that are more affordable but we would put a stop to the knock-down epidemic that is spoiling Oak Bay and not good for the planet.

Dave Secco

 

Oak Bay