City of Nanaimo’s Official Community Plan (OCP) states that, “For Nanaimo to remain home for people of all income levels, it is critical to maintain the existing stock of affordable housing and to create opportunities for the development of new affordable housing.” The OCP establishes a number of policies aimed at providing opportunities for a range of housing type and tenure sufficient to meet the needs of city residents, including assisted housing. OCP policies maximize the use of senior government programs, partnerships and private sector incentives to increase Nanaimo’s lower cost housing stock.
Homelessness is one of the most visible outcomes of an unaffordable or inaccessible housing market. Over the past eight years, the City has taken a number of actions to increase housing affordability, including facilitating the provision of 128 new supportive housing units, permitting rooming houses in residential areas and allowing secondary suites in most single-family dwellings.
While these efforts have been steps in a positive direction, the City does not currently have an overall guiding policy document to coordinate and prioritize our efforts towards greater housing affordability of both market and non-market housing.
On 24-APR-17, Council approved the Terms of Reference for the Affordable Housing Strategy. By working with our government and non-profit partners through the planning process, the Strategy will identify current housing needs, priority areas and options for action. The final document will set the priorities for the City of Nanaimo for 2017-2027 to address non-market and market housing affordability across the housing continuum and will include an implementation plan identifying short, medium and long-term actions.