Increasing Adaptable Housing

Adaptable housing refers to housing that accommodates all residents regardless of their abilities.  An Adaptable dwelling unit is designed to be easily renovated to meet tenant or owner's changing accessibility needs.

The goal of the policy review is to consider options to increase the amount of adaptable multiple-family (apartment, condo, townhouse) units developed in the City of Nanaimo.  The project will seek to understand:

  1. The supply of and demand for accessible and adaptable housing in Nanaimo.

  2. The barriers for including adaptable and accessible housing units within new developments.

  3. The impacts of implementing minimum adaptable unit requirements for all new multiple-unit dwellings.

  4. The need for additional accessible and adaptable housing standards beyond those required by the BC Building Code.

The project will inform policy and bylaw changes that strive to increase and improve access to adaptable and accessible housing in Nanaimo.

The City is seeking your input on proposed new adaptable housing regulations. For more information and to fill out the survey please visit here.

  • Progress
    • Phase 1 - Adaptable and Accessible Housing Analysis, Market Study, and Literature Review
    • Phase 2 - Stakeholder Engagement and Draft Policy  (September 2023)
    • Phase 3 – Review input and present proposed new regulations for Council for consideration (winter 2023/24)
  • Documents
  • Details
  • Background

    In 2018, Nanaimo City Council endorsed the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Strategy (AHS). The AHS sets the priorities for the City of Nanaimo to address affordability across the housing continuum over the next ten years. The AHS includes the following actions related to the provision of adaptable and accessible housing in the City of Nanaimo:

    • Following consultation with the development community and non-profit housing sector, propose minimum adaptable unit requirements for all new multiple unit dwellings.
    • Evaluate the viability of offering incentives for developers to supply a higher percentage of adaptable units.
    • Consider higher adaptable unit requirements for senior-oriented developments.
    • Develop an associated bylaw to implement the adaptable housing policy.
    • Promote financial assistance programs (e.g., Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) grant) for households to make modifications to their home for accessibility.

    In 2019, the City of Nanaimo endorsed the Nanaimo Age Friendly Plan, which includes as an objective supporting the development of more attainable (affordable) and accessible housing for seniors in Nanaimo that are close to amenities.  The Age Friendly Plan also recommends reviewing “how the City of Nanaimo considers accessibility to ensure it meets the needs of an aging population.”

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