Housing Strategies and Action Plans

A housing strategy or action plan outlines how a local government will respond to its community's unique housing needs. It addresses the full range of housing options in a community and focuses on solutions for those not able to find and maintain private market housing.

This type of document has no specific requirements for form or content. Sometimes it's used as a supplement to an official community plan or regional growth strategy.

Strategies include:

  • Actions to support social housing
  • Targets for creating or preserving affordable housing to meet future demand
  • Affordable market housing policies

Small Community Examples

Quesnel: Created an Affordable Housing Strategy (PDF, 5.8) that identifies a vision for the community, as well as challenges, priorities and actions for affordable housing. Their website includes a ‘desired outcome statement’ and links to affordable housing newsletters.

Mid-Size Community Examples

Chilliwack:  Created the Affordable Housing Strategy that identifies ways new emergency shelter, transitional and supportive housing for people with addictions and mental health issues, and affordable housing for low-income households, can be developed.

New Westminster:  Prepared the Affordable Housing Strategy with two main goals:

  • to preserve and enhance the City’s stock of safe, affordable, and appropriate rental housing
  • to improve housing choices for low- and moderate-income residents and those with unique needs

The Strategy recommends nine strategic directions to support these goals, including limiting the loss of existing affordable rental housing, and using financial tools and incentives.

Large Community Examples

Abbotsford: The affordable housing section of their website includes information on the City's housing affordability initiatives and programs, including a number of policies to support housing affordability and the preparation of an Affordable Housing Strategy (PDF, 4 MB).

Kelowna: Developed a Housing Strategy (PDF, 4.8 MB), created financial incentives for the development of affordable housing and redevelopment of the City Centre and Rutland area, and offers several other housing programs and resources.

Richmond: Created an Affordable Housing Strategy that focuses on three priorities:

  • subsidized rental housing
  • low-end market rental housing
  • entry-level homeownership

The City recognizes that, while it has “multiple tools and resources that it can contribute towards creating a wide variety of affordable housing options, it requires the valuable input of community members in order to achieve its goals.”

Vancouver: Developed an Housing and Homelessness Strategy which lays out the City's overall direction for housing. Their website provides resources for renters and for the homeless as well as information on supportive housing and links to the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability.

Northwest Housing Action Plans

The provincial government and BC Housing worked with four Northwest communities to develop Housing Action Plans to:

  • provide provincial support to communities that are expected to be affected by rapid and significant industrial development in their regions and
  • identify specific, implementable actions that can be taken by all levels of government and other stakeholders to address expected housing need over the longer term.

We continue to engage with these communities to act on the plan recommendations and identify new opportunities for partnership on affordable housing.