Last Thursday, Victoria’s newly elected city council passed the Missing Middle Initiative and here’s what that means for the everyday Victorian just trying to afford lunch and a bus pass.
The Missing Middle Housing Initiative is a series of amendments to city bylaws that will aid people who are above the poverty line but unable to afford to purchase a home as prices currently stand.
They aren’t high-income people/individuals but they aren’t low-income, they’re right in the middle.
As middle children often do, middle-income Victorians sometimes get forgotten.
All jokes aside, 61% of Victorians are renters and their average income is just over $44,000. The 39% of Victoria that own homes have an average income of around $80,000. Part of the goal of this initiative is to, over time, close that gap and create more equity.
Here’s the bylaw amendments and adoptions council passed to help the missing middle explained:
- Amendments were made to Victoria’s Official Community Plan
- A bylaw was made to amend the Official Community Plan to support the development of “missing middle housing” forms. Development permits will now support higher density in traditional residential and urban residential areas.
- Amendments to the Land Use Procedures Bylaw
- This bylaw means to amend Land Use Procedures Bylaw so additional development approvals will be delegated more efficiently in regards to Vic West and Fairfield.
- Amendments to the Affordable Housing Bylaw
- This one is meant to establish apply affordability standards for rentals and affordable home ownership to protect housing security for low to middle-income residents
- New: Missing Middle Design Guidelines
- This set of guidelines will allow developers and landowners to include more units on new builds. Duplexes, triplexes and up to six-plexes will now be allowed to be built on single family lots where they used to not be
- This will aid developers in making Victoria more accessible and safe with new design rules regarding ramps, retaining walls and several other topics
- New: The Tenant Assistance Policy
- This new policy will help protect renters from being renevicted by landlords looking to be rid of them. It sets rules and guidelines landlords must follow regarding compensation and communication with tenants
Victorians will reap the benefits in the coming years through these five changes that took five years to make it through council.
More units will be up for grabs by renters as single family homes are redeveloped into multi-unit residences, renters will be given the right of way more often to protect them from ending up on the streets and permits will be more swiftly approved.