Victoria’s mayor hopes a bylaw change expected to pass at council tonight will give renters in the city’s crowded market more options.
Mayor Lisa Helps says they anticipate that easing secondary suite restrictions for homeowners while keeping the safety regulations in place will see more apartments come on the market.
“In terms of a target number, lots I hope, because it’s a good help for a homeowner to have a rental suite in their homes and it’s certainly a help to the tight rental market here.”
She says the change cuts a lot of red tape for those wanting to add a secondary suite.
“It’s basically cutting through the mumbo jumbo to make it easier. You walk in and say ‘here’s my house.’ We don’t say what the minimum floor area is, we don’t say have you done a renovation in the last five years. We don’t ask those kinds of questions. We say, ‘okay how we can help you make this work.’”
Helps says those changes will also make it easier for those with illegal suites to come into compliance.
Earlier this month council voted to allow garden suites in any residential area, instead of approving them on a case by case basis.
They hope these changes, which are part of the city’s ten-year housing strategy, will raise Victoria’s vacancy rate.
That rate currently stands at .05 per cent, even lower than Vancouver’s rate of .07.