Affordable Housing FAQs

January 25, 2018

Why housing?

OBUC is seeking to deliver low income (affordable) housing because it aligns with our core values and has been identified as a critical and growing need in the community today.

We’ve considered many approaches to sustainably addressing our financial challenges and this direction meets our long-term requirement for viability while best reflecting our values and commitment to Oak Bay.

What is affordable housing?

Affordable rental housing is for people who have a low-to-moderate income but may not be eligible for subsidized housing. Affordable housing is not cheap construction or poor design; it is the result of innovative approaches by developers and government to keep construction costs low. In our instance, OBUC is contributing the land for the development and is not looking to generate an immediate or significant profit.

Who typically lives in affordable housing units?

The affordability and access gap particularly affects seniors with declining incomes, public service professionals (e.g. firefighters, nurses) starting their careers, young families with children, and local retail and service industry workers. These populations all play a role in in Oak Bay being a vital and healthy community for decades to come.

How is affordable housing different from social housing?

Affordable rental housing is for people who have a low-to-moderate income but may not be eligible for subsidized housing. Social housing is typically subsidized by government and is often provided for specific populations of people encountering barriers to secure, ongoing shelter (e.g. people who are chronically homeless, victims of domestic violence, struggling with mental health/substance use etc.)

Why is affordable housing so important to a community?

Housing affordability is a critical issue facing the Capital Regional District, with the young professionals, families and students who are vital to a healthy sustainable community, unable to find a place to live. They often relocate to other communities where they can find affordable housing and work, resulting in a labour force shortage in less affordable communities.

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