Missing middle projects in Victoria being approved but still behind goal

Missing middle projects in Victoria being approved but still behind goal

Victoria is falling behind on its goal of issuing permits for 150 missing middle housing units per year, but is doing better than right after the program had been implemented.

The Missing Middle initiative was approved in Victoria in January 2023, which rezoned all single-family homes in the city to allow up to six homes to be built on one lot.

Between January and September, the city did not receive a single application for missing middle housing, with developers saying the rules were too strict to be profitable.

Then in September, the city made changes to the project and applications began to come in.

The city aimed to issue 1,000 missing middle permits between 2020 and 2025, with the goal of roughly 150 per year to stay on track.

In a housing update, city staff said in 2023 there were 122 building permits issued, which falls short of its goal but is better than the zero prior to the changes.

“Permits for missing middle home recorded a 60 per cent increase over 2022 totals, but still fell below the annual target,” Julie Edney, housing planner with the City of Victoria, said in committee of the whole on Thursday. “To get back on track in 2024 approximately 533 units would be needed.”

On track or close to other goals

In the five other goals the city highlighted, three were listed as “going well” and two were “slower than we’d like.”

In 2023, the city approved 573 building permits for market rental homes, exceeding its goal of 300 per year. It also issued building permits for 1,119 new condominium strata homes, exceeding its goal of 150 per year, and approved 615 homes with two or more bedrooms, exceeding its goal of 250 per year.

The city defined “slower than we’d like” as meeting 50 to 66 per cent of the target, and the goals for affordable non-market homes and total new homes fell within this criteria.

Affordable non-market homes had a goal of 350 per year, and 338 homes were approved in 2023. Similarly, a goal of 1,000 new homes per year was set, and 738 building permits were approved.

In 2023, Victoria had the second highest number of units under construction in the Capital Regional District, just behind Langford. Langford had 2,374 homes under construction followed by Victoria with 2,204, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!