Affordable Housing Strategy


View the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Strategy (adopted by Council on September 17, 2018).

Access to housing is vital to community well-being, and ‘Affordable Housing’ is one of Council’s top strategic initiatives for 2016-2019. The City of Nanaimo completed an Affordable Housing Discussion Paper that identifies current and future housing needs, and options for action. The Discussion Paper was followed by an Nanaimo Affordable Housing Strategy that sets the priorities for the City of Nanaimo to address affordability across the housing continuum over the next ten years.

For questions or comments, please contact:

Social Planning
Phone: 250-755-4430

  • Progress



    Key Events / Outcomes

    August – September 2017

    Plan Initiation

    • Terms of Reference approved
    • Form Steering Committee
    • Review of background materials; policy scan; data analysis

    October – November 2017

    Issues and Opportunities

    • Online Survey
    • Stakeholder focus groups
    • Community/Neighbourhood Association Meetings
    • Draft Affordable Housing Discussion Paper

    December 2017 – March 2018

    Options Development

    • Presentation to the Community Vitality Committee
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Revised Affordable Housing Discussion Paper to Council

    April – June 2018

    Draft Strategy

    • Draft Affordable Housing Strategy & Implementation Plan
    • Draft Strategy to Committees for review / recommendation
    • Public Open House

    July – September 2018

    Finalize Strategy

    • Second Online Survey (now closed)
    • Final Open House (held 2018-AUG-22)
    • Finalize Affordable Housing Strategy
    • Council Meeting (2018-SEP-17)
    • Approval/Adoption of Affordable Housing Strategy (2018-SEP-17)
  • Documents
  • Details

    The Affordable Housing Strategy was led by Social Planning staff from the Community and Cultural Planning section, with technical support from City Spaces Consulting and Colliers International.

    The Strategy process was overseen by a Steering Committee that met on a regular basis to provide input to the process. The Community Vitality Committee, whose mandate is to promote the community’s well-being and to make recommendations to Council on proposed initiatives related to social equity, was asked for input throughout the process and provided a final recommendation to Council. Finally, the Strategy was referred to the Community Development and Planning Committee for comment, and ultimately approved by Council at their regular meeting held 2018-SEP-17.

  • Background

    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 identifies current housing needs, priority areas and options for action. The final document sets 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.

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